The airport gateway to the “Music City” is tooting its horn over a refreshed International Arrivals Building (IAB), with an even more ambitious facility yet to come as part of an extended reconstruction and renovation plan for Nashville International Airport.

“By all projections, Nashville is increasingly becoming an international destination, and it’s important we have the facilities to accommodate that trend,” said Bobby Joslin, chairman of the Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority (MNAA), which unveiled $8.2 million in upgrades this week.

The interim IAB now features a second passenger boarding bridge and new Customs self-check kiosks and screening equipment. A direct connection between the international terminal and baggage-claim areas means travellers no longer have to re-check their baggage or pass through security a second time unless they are transferring to a domestic flight.

The improvements double the passenger processing capacity of the IAB, but bigger improvements are on the horizon.

“Our upgraded interim International Arrivals Building expands our ability to serve international passengers flying to Nashville, whether from the United Kingdom, Mexico, the Caribbean, or elsewhere,” said Doug Kreulen, MNAA president and CEO.

“It was built with convenience in mind and will significantly improve and expedite the process for passengers until our permanent, state-of-the-art International Arrivals Facility opens in 2023.”

Current nonstop international destinations from Nashville include Calgary, Cancun, Grand Bahama Island, Montego Bay, Punta Cana, and Toronto.

Last summer British Airways announced it would begin nonstop service from Nashville to London Heathrow, operating five times per week from May 4.