Rapid City Regional Airport approved to plan for major expansion to current facility

Rendering Of The Airport ExpansionRAPID CITY, S.D.– After the board gave airport officials approval, the Rapid City Regional Airport is moving forward with a plan to further develop the facility. Airport Executive Director Patrick Dame explains more on the announcement.

The plan in place

According to Dame the project will be carried out in three different phases, each focused on key parts of the airport: behind-the-scenes, terminal gates, along with baggage claim and ticket counters.

Phase 1:

  • Focuses on TSA Screening, baggage makeup, and ticket counter expansion and baggage checking
  • This will allow for faster times going through TSA, purchasing tickets, checking baggage, and luggage processing for both passengers and employees.

Phase One renderings

Phase 2:

  • Focuses on increasing the amount of gates at the terminal from seven to 12
    • “We are able to get nine airplanes around there. But the limitation in the number of airplanes we can get around the gate also limits the number of nonstop destinations we can have coming in,” Dame said. The expansion will also include more spacious hold rooms and accommodation for larger planes

Phase 3:

  • The last step in the project. Plans are to renovate ticket counters and queue area to accommodate for the influx of crowds due to the larger planes, along with adding a third baggage claim carousel for passengers.

Timeline for the project

According to Dame, there is not a timeline yet. Once they are able to bid on the construction after acquiring enough funding, then they will be able to find out more information such as construction starts. All of which will help a timeline come together, but do not expect any changes in the next year or two. “The first portion of the project is upwards of $50 million. When we get through the entire terminal and build the aircraft parking apron that’s needed and replace actually the existing concrete around the existing facility, which has lived its life as well– we’re going to be in the $205 million mark for the entire project,” he explained. “So we’re looking at this as you know, this project is going to take us close to a decade to get through.”

The next step

“Hopefully getting funding in the future here,” Dame said. “I won’t be able to put those plans out on the street to be able to bid for construction at that point.” Once they are able to successfully bid on the project, the discussions of when to begin construction can start.

Categories: ConnectCenter1-Business, Local News, South Dakota News