SPOKANE, Wash. — Now that air travel has picked up, the Spokane International Airport is seeing record numbers of travelers. To keep up with the demand and the growth in the area, the airport is expanding.
In 2019, the Spokane International Airport saw record traffic of more than 4 million travelers and by 2030, the airport expects to serve more than 6 million.
The expansion of Spokane International Airport is currently underway.
Ian O'Neil is a frequent flyer. He flies out of Spokane several times a month for work.
"I think that it needs an expansion, which obviously is happening right now,” said O’Neil. “The lines are getting a little bit longer. There's more people moving into the area. So I think that the this expansion is well needed a little bit overdue."
O'Neil says he would love to see the expansion to include more amenities, such as bigger bathrooms and more seating . Currently, the concourse c expansion project is in the first phase of the terminal renovation and expansion program. The $150 million expansion will add three new gates, replace current ground boarding gates with three passenger loading bridges, modernize existing gates and add six ticket counter locations for airlines to use. It is expected to be complete in 2025.
Kelsey Cooper is an airport employee. She says the expansion could mean more business and more jobs.
"We could be more short handed than we already are, which would cause issues for every other department, which makes a whole functionality thing a big issue, because we all kind of work together,” said Cooper “And when one area is not working, the rest kind of just crumbles beneath it."
On Friday, O'Neil had to park in overflow parking and wait for a shuttle to take him to the checkout counter.
Expanding flights means fewer layovers and that's one thing O'Neil is happy about.
“One thing that I do not like are layovers,” said O’Neil. “That's when things can happen. There are more direct flights to the final destination, and then there'll be less headache down the road.”
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