Sky Harbor Airport opens new terminal for pilots and passengers

Sky Harbor Airport opens new terminal for pilots and passengers

The Duluth Airport Authority held a ribbon cutting at the Sky Harbor Airport with a a new $2.66 million terminal accessible to pilots and their passengers.

There is no shortage of frequent flyers in the Northland who have a love for aviation. The Duluth Airport Authority unveiled their new terminal building at the Sky Harbor Airport on Park Point. The ribbon cutting invited people who have a love for flying, and enjoy watching planes.

Kevin O’Brien, the president of the Duluth Airport Authority’s Board of Directors says the project took a little under a year to complete. Although with the help of local, state and federal grants investing in aviation, the thrill of flying will thrive.

“This type of major infrastructure improvement does not happen easily. If it were not for the skilled trades people in our area, projects like this would be non-starters,” O’Brien said. “As a representative of the Airport Authority Board, I’m extremely proud of these major improvements and the lasting value they’ll bring to Sky Harbor and DLH for future generations.”

Mike Hartell with Minnesota’s Department of Transportation also says the project took several state and federal grants to complete the two and a half million dollar project within a year.

“I’ll just give you a quick rundown on what that money was like. There was about $2.7 million in the total project. From that, about $1.9 million is coming through, the FAA will be coming through.” Hartell said. “Then there was $520,000 that came out of the state airport fund, and then the matching IIJ grant funds that were made available through the state process.”

The Sky Harbor Airport is also a historic landmark, founded back in the late 1930’s on Park Point. The Duluth Airport Authority’s Executive Director Tom Werner says the public perception of Sky Harbor Airport, however, was seen as a “rich man’s” airport. Although he says now the new terminal building will now be a more inviting space to people.

“Sky Harbor has become a convenient gateway to the heart of Duluth’s tourism district. But its front door, the old terminal, didn’t provide the best first impression,” Werner said. “The new terminal provides modern, clean amenities to pilots. It’s an inviting space to greet visitors. We hope it’ll be a gateway that sparks interest in aviation through connection with our very vibrant aviation community.”

However, what does the flying community think about the changes to the Sky Harbor Airport? Mayor Roger Reinert is one of the many small plane pilots in the Duluth area. He said other pilots and himself are excited to use the new amenities available.

“This terminal now becomes another asset to our Park Point community. It is an amazing place to fly out of,” Mayor Reinert said. Trust me, if you’re a pilot and you wanna do crosswind takeoffs and landings, this is the place to do it.”

For more information about Sky Harbor Airport you can read more here. Also for other stories happening in Park Point you can read more stories here.