An NPR member station
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Spokane airports receive federal money to expand concourse

Spokane Airport Concourse C expansion rendering
Courtesy of Spokane Airports
/
This design rendering shows what an expanded Concourse C will look like at Spokane International Airport.

Officials applied for money dedicated to new airport terminals.

Spokane International Airport will receive $11 million to begin an expansion of one of the concourses.

Washington’s U.S. senators announced the grant Thursday morning from the Federal Aviation Administration’s new Airport Terminal Program.

Executive Director Larry Krauter says Spokane International plans to expand Concourse C, where Alaska Airlines is based, by three gates.

“This project will feature important technological advances by deployment of things such as common use terminal equipment at all of the gates, which basically allows any gate to be used by any airline, so that’s a really big efficiency gain for us," he said.

Krauter says the expansion would help the airport accommodate an expected 20%-to-25% increase in the number of passengers over the next several years.

He says the project will cost about $150 million over several phases. He said the airport had applied for $65 million.

U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell had written a letter to federal transportation officials, talking up the project.

“Those three additional gates are opportunities for new flights and new destinations and, let’s just say, maybe you don’t have to go through Seattle," said U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell, speaking at a press event at the airport on Wednesday. "It would be great to see a nonstop to Hawaii. It would be great to see a nonstop to the East Coast. It would be great to have other destinations not currently served by the airport get access to Spokane.”

Cantwell says she had talked up the merits of the project with Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.

“We know this, that modern, resilient and sustainable airports will help strengthen our supply chain, help our U.S. businesses compete in a global economy and get our consumers where they need to go," she said.

Krauter says construction work at the airport will begin in August. He says the crews will also expand the existing ticketing area in the concourse, upgrade its mechanical and HVAC systems and consolidate the baggage system.

Two other Washington airports will also receive funding from the federal terminal program. The Pullman-Moscow airport will collect $11.8 to continue building a new terminal, giving it two new gates and the ability to handle more charter flights. Construction there began in July of this year.

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport will receive $10 million to renovate five sets of restrooms which have not been remodeled since 1992.