New airport terminal waiting in wings
Hopes of beginning construction on the first phase of a new terminal at Grand Junction Regional Airport received a $1.4 million boost from the Federal Aviation Administration.
“We’re hoping to end 2012 with the administration building under construction,” Amy Jordan, deputy director of administration for the airport, said of the project.
The grant, announced by U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., is part of a package that also includes $700,000 for the purchase of an aircraft-rescue and firefighting vehicle.
The administration building is to be built immediately east of the existing terminal and will be three stories, with the top level being used by airport administration. Other parts of the building will be a fire station and an airport board meeting room that also could be used as a community room, which would be accessible to the public.
Plans call for the terminal to be rebuilt in phases, resulting in “one seamless building,” Jordan said.
The construction will have to be done in phases to allow commercial flights to continue even as the terminal is updated, Jordan said.
No date of completion or final cost estimate has been determined, she said.
The terminal, which opened in 1982, is nearing the end of its useful life, Jordan said. “Although it looks good and operates OK, it’s really inefficient” and has major structural problems, Jordan said. “It costs more to maintain than it does to scrap and replace.”
A study commissioned by the airport last year concluded that it would cost more than $1.2 million to bring the existing terminal up to code and $4.3 million for general repairs and upgrades. The airport has begun setting aside money from state and federal agencies for the terminal project, Jordan said.
The number of passengers using the airport has grown from 74,833 in 1995 to 219,358 in 2010.