Missoula International Airport Approved For $40 Million Overhaul, New Carriers Expected
The Missoula International Airport Board approved a big redesign master plan this week that is estimated to cost around 40 million dollars. The plan will rearrange many of the elements of the current facility and provide more room for modern airplanes. Airport Director Chris Jenson explains.
"We'll actually start the design of the project in January and we think it will take about 18 months worth of design and then as soon as the design is complete the project will be put out to bid," Jenson said. "Then we will start construction. We think it will be about three-ish years of construction, so we think that by 2021 we should be in the new building."
Some of the airport dates back to 1958 when propeller driven airplanes were the norm. Jenson says that creating more space for newer planes and more plane parking will help lure no carriers to bring service to Missoula.
"Part of our challenge today is, as we are out meeting with airlines and talking to them, we are literally at the point where we don't have enough parking positions to accommodate them, or enough ticket counters, or enough gate areas to accommodate them," Jenson said. "So this will absolutely help us when we have those conversations and we are hoping to have some new carriers and make those announcements in the future."
Many of the internal elements of the building will be changed as well to help make the passenger experience easier and more enjoyable. Jenson says a lot of thought has gone into making sure that the public doesn’t have to suffer with delays and difficulties during construction time.