As Bozeman Yellowstone Internation Airport has continued to grow this summer, airport officials have been busy planning to prevent growing pains.
The airport set passenger records in June by more than 20 percent, which has had an interesting impact on airport lines.
“Now our security lines are reasonable, in general. The lines at the ticket counters are pretty reasonable. The irony is that I think the longest lines that we’re seeing are at our rental car counters,” Airport Director Brian Sprenger said.
You’d better arrive early if you have a mid-morning or early afternoon flight.
“We’re already filling all of our gates through those peak periods, so we’re just seeing more peak periods and longer where we have our gates filled up,” Sprenger said.
The terminal capacity is 1200 passengers an hour, and the airport is currently pushing those numbers — but the concourse expansion project will help.
“When we add the additional four gates, that will jump up to about 1800 passengers per gate area,” Sprenger said.
Airport officials have a contingency for every area of growth that the airport has experienced in the last couple of years, and Sprenger says it comes down to about four elements.
“Making sure we have runways and taxiways for the aircraft; we focus on terminal buildings in terms of how we handle the passengers; terminal buildings on how we handle the baggage; and infrastructure for vehicles,” he said.
Sprenger says the next project will address handling more baggage.
The space under the four gates being added could be used for baggage handling in the future.