The first passengers strolled into the Joseph M. McDade Terminal Building on May 25, 2006, and the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport stepped into a new era.
The $41.5 million structure made of steel, stone and glass replaces the 47-year-old terminal next to it. At about 131,000 square feet, the Joseph M. McDade Terminal Building is about 70% larger than the old one, which opened in 1959, and was renovated in 1982 and 1991.
The larger facility is designed to handle 360,000 or more departing passengers each year.
The terminal is the last piece in a total makeover of the Airport. New roads, a surface parking lot and a four-level parking garage were completed in 2003, bringing the total cost of the project to $80 million.
The Airport’s co-owners, Lackawanna and Luzerne Counties, each paid approximately $4.25 million. The rest came from federal and state fundings.
Joseph Michael McDade was born on September 29, 1931 in Scranton, Pennsylvania.
He attended St. Paul’s School and Scranton Preparatory School. He graduated with honors from the University of Notre Dame in 1953 with a B.A. in political science. He received his LL.B. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1956.
McDade served clerkship in the office of Chief Federal Judge John W. Murphy, Middle District of Pennsylvania. He engaged in the general practice of law in 1957. Joseph McDade was elected the city solicitor of the city of Scranton in 1962.
McDade was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1962. The Republican represented Pennsylvania’s 10th District for 36 years (1963-1999).
During his years of public life, he served as the vice chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, vice chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on National Security, and as a member on the Subcommittee on the Interior.
McDade represented the centrist wing of his party, as he was both fiscally and socially moderate. He was a strong supporter of tax and welfare reform, but also was an opponent of free trade agreements.
McDade was instrumental in arranging federal funding for the new Airport Terminal, which now bears his name.