New Duluth Airport Terminal to Open in January
Posted at: 10/04/2012 5:31 PM
| Updated at: 10/04/2012 6:43 PM
By: Paige Calhoun
The new terminal at the Duluth International Airport is set to open on January 14th. The square footage of the new building is roughly the same as the old, but it's hard to tell as the new layout is far less congested.
"It's open, it's airy, what a great feel," Interim Executive Director of the Duluth Airport Authority Tom Werner said during a tour Thursday. Passengers checking in at the facility will use the east side of the building, while those picking up their bags will exit on the west side, without crossing paths.
"The design has really emphasized flow of pedestrians throughout the facility, efficiency, comfort, and so that is throughout the building," Werner said. Case and point, the passenger waiting area. It will now seat 400 people, and offers bathrooms and a concession after going through security. Amenities that were not available before.
"The fact that we're able to offer a concession and take care of more of the expected amenities, restrooms, and other things in this facility now, it's a huge, huge benefit for us, we're really excited about it," Werner said.
Another feature to be excited about is the building's versatility. The westernmost portion of the terminal can be closed off with a partition to create a federal inspection facility for international flights. That will allow U.S. Customs and Border Patrol to screen those passengers more efficiently.
There are still more perks to come. Starting this spring, work will begin on a new parking ramp that will connect to the terminal with a sky walk. All of these new and improved features have Duluth Mayor Don Ness saying the facility will truly be the premiere gateway to the region for travelers, "What a difference it will make when they step into this facility versus the airport that we have."
The facility officially opens on January 14th. The public is invited to check out the terminal at an open house on January 12th.