Local News

July 30, 2013

County considers airport expansion



Airport Manager Chris Kreig said there are times, when flights are delayed, that more than 600 people are packed into a terminal designed for about 300.

“One delay can have a dramatic impact because they overlap flights,” he said.


Legislators heard a detailed presentation on possible expansion plans from McFarland Johnson Inc., the project design firm, at a recent Airport Committee meeting.

Upgrading to the point where the airport can efficiently handle the crowds there now would cost $41.59 million.

Two more ticket counters would be added, and the terminal would be re-designed to move the stairs now at the back of the facility closer to the entrance to give easier access to Transportation Security Administration screening, which would be moved to the second floor.

A larger holding room and one more jet bridge for boarding and disembarking planes would be added, as well as a larger concession area and room for customs clearance, should the airport ever attract international flights.


Upgrading the terminal to handle slow growth over the next decade and a half would cost $50.74 million.

That plan would add two more jet bridges and three more ticket counters. The design would allow for as many as 225,000 enplanements per year by 2030.


The final option would allow for a conservative estimate of 308,540 enplanements by 2030, with that number leveling off after that.

That plan would call for a total of five jet bridges and up to seven ticket counters.

The parking area would be about doubled from the existing 2,000 spaces in all three options.

“We are aggressively looking to the future, and if we get another carrier in here, we don’t want to be in a position where we don’t have enough parking,” Kreig said.


Funds to pay for the expansion would come from passenger fees, parking revenue and state and federal grants.

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