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Commercial flights a possibility for Coeur d'Alene Airport

If the project happens, it would be located on Airport Drive in a space between two other hangars.

HAYDEN, Idaho — Thursday's rainy and cold weather meant quiet runways at the Coeur d'Alene Airport.

But inside the Stancraft Jet Center, the facility was full of people looking to learn more about the possibility of a commercial terminal at Coeur d'Alene Airport.

The informational meeting was hosted by Stancraft and Avports, an airport operations and management company based out of Virginia.

According to Airport Director Steven Kjergaard, if the project happens, it would be located on Airport Drive in a space between two other hangars with parking located across the road in what is now an empty lot.

Kjergaard says Coeur d'Alene has had commercial service before, but he says that stopped back in the early 1980s.

"The airport actually receives multiple phone calls throughout the year, for the past couple of decades, about potentially restarting commercial airlines that service out of Coeur d'Alene," Kjergaard said. "Our biggest drawback right now though is we don't have a commercial terminal." 

According to airport officials, Avports would be the one to build the facility if it gets approval.

However, the Kootenai County Board of Commissioners put off their decision about the proposed development and lease during a meeting in late December.

Also at that meeting was Coeur d'Alene Airport Association board member Steve Anderson. One of the issues he has about the project is the lack of an airline.

"They don't have an airline yet that they're planning to bring in," Anderson said. "So, we kind of call it the Field of Dreams terminal building where you build a terminal, and then you hope that that another airline will come in."

As for Kjergaard, the potential for a commercial terminal is less about the growth in North Idaho and more about giving access.

"Most of the community can't access this airport because it's generally aviation only. You have to own an aircraft or you have to fly in from elsewhere on your private aircraft," Kjergaard said. "By allowing commercial service, it's allowing everyone to access their airport."

Now that Thursday night's meeting has passed, Kjergaard says he's not sure exactly what will happen next, but that it'll be a conversation between him, Avports and the county commissioners.

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