Missoula airport looks to soar into the future - KPAX.com | Continuous News | Missoula & Western Montana

Missoula airport looks to soar into the future

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MISSOULA - A plan to re-configure Missoula International Airport is beginning to take flight, with the Missoula County Airport Authority approving schematics for a modern terminal.

The plans to remodel the terminal first began four years ago. But last year it was determined an entirely new building was needed because the original building dates back to the 1940s, and has already been remodeled nearly a dozen times.

The new terminal will be built in phases, in the footprint of the existing building to minimize construction impacts for passengers. 

The new terminal will stand at three stories, up from the present two and will feature better traffic flow, with larger gates and a more robust security checkpoint to help get passengers on planes much faster.

The new terminal will also be built with modern technology in mind.

"Really think about how things have changed in the industry. Back in the day when it was built, it was just a tower with airplanes, we had DC3s that held maybe 15 or 20 passengers, and nobody had anything to plug in the wall back in the 40s, 50, 60s, 70s, really even into the 80s. And so nowadays of course with technology, we need a facility that can serve our public," said Airport Director Cris Jensen.

The Missoula County Airport Authority must now approve a contract with the design team which includes A and E Architects and Martel Construction. The design documents then must be written to determine how exactly the process will go, with bids coming in July.

Finally, crews will break ground between September and October 2018 with construction is estimated to take about five years to complete.

RELATED: Federal money to fund Missoula airport expansion

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