Delaware River and Bay Authority Purchases Skyways Motor Lodge Lease

February 8, 2024

Delaware River and Bay Authority Purchases Skyways Motor Lodge Lease

Vacant Damons Grill, Old Motel to be Demolished for Parking Expansion

NEW CASTLE, Del. – The Delaware River and Bay Authority (DRBA), sponsor and operator of the Wilmington Airport (ILG) since 1995, recently purchased the balance of the leasehold interest of Skyways Motor Lodge Corp., a long-term tenant at the airport.  The six-acre property, containing both the Skyways Motor Lodge and the Damon’s Grill on a pad site adjacent to the airport terminal building, will be razed for temporary parking.  The buy-out cost was $4.15 million.

“With Avelo’s growing popularity, airport parking was quickly becoming a scarce commodity,” said DRBA Executive Director Thomas J. Cook.  “Expanding airport parking options along with improvements to our airport terminal are needed to handle existing customer demand.  We want to make sure Wilmington remains the airport of choice for people in Delaware, South Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Maryland who seek quality service and a convenient, hassle-free airport experience.”

Damons Restaurant Pad Site

When the buildings are demolished and the site is cleared, it is expected that 500 new parking spaces will be added for airport customers in the near term.

The DRBA plans to utilize the space to provide temporary parking for airport guests and has included the new project in its 2024 Capital Improvement Plan, which is expected to cost $2.85 million in 2024 and slightly more than $500,000 in 2025.  In addition, the 2024 budget programs the design of a permanent parking expansion project to be constructed in the out-years.

The airport currently has 3 lots for passenger service and a total capacity of more than 800 vehicles, with a real-time spot availability counter on  In August 2023, the DRBA opened Parking Lot C to handle the ever-increasing customer demand for parking and implemented a free shuttle service from that lot to the terminal building.  Seasonal shuttle service is provided between Lot C and the terminal during peak travel times.

Avelo currently operates 7 regular and 2 seasonal round-trip routes at ILG.   The airline generated record-breaking 2023 passenger traffic at ILG: 131,959 enplaned passengers and 129,456 deplaned passengers.  On July 18, 2023, the DRBA Commission approved Resolution 23-43, which outlined the terms of the purchase agreement.  MedExpress pad site is not included in the agreement.  

About the Delaware River and Bay Authority 
The DRBA, a bi-state governmental agency created by Compact in 1962, owns and operates the Delaware Memorial Bridge, the Cape May- Lewes Ferry, and the Forts Ferry Crossing.  The DRBA also manages two airports in New Jersey (Millville Executive Airport and Cape May Airport) and three in Delaware (Wilmington Airport, Civil Air Terminal and Delaware Airpark). All DRBA operating revenues are generated through the bridge, ferry and airport facilities.  For more information, visit