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Major Terminal Expansion Planned

Post date: Apr 1, 2024

To meet the needs at the airport, a four-phase plan was created and is now in place for the airport’s terminal expansion.

Phase 1 includes the addition of three jet bridges which will serve Gates 2 and 5, and the expansion of the inline baggage system, the non-public space where baggage is sorted; it is currently too small to handle the current and projected passenger demands.

This phase, with a total budget of nearly $23 million, is slated to be completed in 2026.

Phase 2, scheduled for 2026-29, includes the expansion of the ticket counters and work on the second floor of the terminal. The cost of this phase is set at nearly $28 million.

Phase 3 is set to expand the baggage claim area and the creation of a rental car building. It is scheduled for 2032-33 with a budget of nearly $32 million.

Phase 4, scheduled to begin in 2033, includes the addition of Gates 6 and 7, and the expansion of the terminal apron with a budget for this phase set at $63 million.

The total capital budget for the terminal expansion is nearly $139 million. The Tri-Cities Airport does not collect local property taxes, and the projects will be funded by a combination of airport user fees, federal grants, and facility charges.

“The previous terminal expansion focused on the passenger needs on the secure side of the terminal. At that time, we wanted to do as much as we could to enhance the passenger experience in the gate area. We knew we would need to address the front half of the terminal at some point. That point is now as our increasing passenger loads and bigger aircraft are putting pressure on the front half of the terminal,” said Buck Taft, Airport Director. “This budget also addresses the need to add more gates and sets the airport up well for the future.”