CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- With heavy construction equipment, Charlotte Douglas International Airport started its work on Concourse A Expansion Phase I.

The old rental car row was demolished to make way for nine new gates that the airport says will provide passengers more choices.

"We see this as a milestone for us. This is a very important step for us to get started on these gates," said Deputy Aviation Director Jack Christine. "We haven't actually built a new concourse since 1999."

The project will take at least two years and has a cost of $200 million. The airport says the funding will come from future general airport revenue bonds and passenger facility charge revenues.

Project manager Ashton Watson says the airport is making every effort to be environmentally-sensitive.

"A certain percentage of the building materials will be recycled. That comes down to the concrete and steel will be separated out from the building demolition and diverted from landfills, which is environmentally friendly."

Last year Charlotte Douglas welcomed 44.9 million passengers.