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Spokane International Airport plans for growth as passenger traffic booms

Spokane International Airport has several projects underway that will change the way passengers move through GEG in the near future.

SPOKANE, Wash. — As Spokane County continues to grow, Spokane International Airport (GEG) is growing right along with it. The airport is working to keep up with all of the travelers, and despite the challenges that came with the pandemic, the airport says its projections of growth are still on track.

In 2019, Spokane International Airport saw record traffic with more than 4 million passengers. By 2030, the airport expects to serve more than 6.2 million passengers, and Larry Krauter, CEO of Spokane International Airport, said the airport is preparing for even more growth.

“If you look at our long-range plans, I think the focus on expandability and flexibility is really going to serve the airport well,” Krauter said.

Part of that long-range plan includes the terminal expansion project--referred to as TREX. The project includes:

  • Terminal C expansion
  • New security checkpoint for Terminals A and B
  • New central baggage claim hall
  • New curbside canopy

“We’re really excited because it’s a very important space because we have very important functions going on there,” Krauter said. “We also want it to be welcoming and a really good impression on what our community is like.”

And like all the plans at the airport, it includes the flexibility for further growth.

“These facilities that we’re building with the TREX are really going to be built with the expandability in mind,” Krauter explained. “So, it’s easy to say, we can drop a wall and expand this way instead of what are we going to do now.”

Passengers may already notice some of the changes. The airport recently re-aligned the road leading to the terminals, which created more parking. Also, since 2019, GEG added six nonstop flight destinations and hopes to add more.

There is a plan and space for a third runway, but airport officials don’t believe one is needed quite yet. Krauter said planes are getting bigger, which could mean fewer landings and take-offs, and still more passengers. But if that trend doesn’t continue, the airport could need a third runway sooner than later.

“My sense is it’s still a very long-range project. So probably beyond the 15 or 20 more years out before we’re really going to need to take a serious look at that,” Krauter said.

Airport executives hope to submit a building permit application in the spring with construction starting this summer.

WATCH MORE: What's the future of growth in Spokane County? | Boomtown

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