Designers for a new passenger terminal at the Minot International Airport are planning for a facility that will be three times the size of the existing one.
Andrew Solsvig, airport director, told members of the Minot Area Chamber of Commerce's Military Affairs Committee Thursday that the new terminal's footprint would increase from the existing building's about 34,000 square feet to about 110,000-115,000 square feet.
Minot's airport has had rapid and extensive increase in its use, soaring from around 70,000 to 80,000 passengers for many years to about 151,000 at the end of 2011. Passenger use at the end of this year might hit 221,000.
This shows an overhead view of the new passenger terminal. The design is a preliminary conceptual drawing.
The new terminal is being planned for just east of the existing terminal.
On Thursday, Military
Affairs Committee members, meeting at the Grand International Inn, got a look at the schematic designs, to date, for the airport expansion project. Solsvig said he was given the preliminary designs just a few days ago, on Oct. 26.
The schematic drawings are being designed by Coover Clark & Associates in Denver, a subconsultant for Kadramas, Lee and Jackson, the project manager.
"We anticipate being 65 percent complete with design by mid-December, with anticipated 100 percent completion by May 2013," Solsvig said.
The apron for parking aircraft, north of the new terminal, will be significantly larger or about three times the size of the current apron.
A project will expand the taxiway project. "Right now we only have one taxiway that goes north-south and the only way out of the apron that we have," Solsvig said.
Plans are to move the Minot Fire Department's training grounds, southeast of the existing terminal.
Solsvig said the fire training grounds is on airport property and is needed for future development, including parking. "We have short-term parking directly in front of where the new terminal will go," he said.
If the fire training grounds are moved in the spring, Solsvig said they could probably get the long-term parking project started next summer and have it completed by next fall. "Then we'd have a large amount of space to provide parking and then we can look at the phasing of the rest of it," he said.
He said there's an idea to change the access road.
"Right now Third Street curves around onto what is called Airport Road and then connects up to Broadway where the light is. To make this work we know we need to have a loop in the airport a one-way loop for the most part. What we're proposing is to have the road connected to 19th Street and then the main access road in and out will be actually on 20th where the light is currently. That will be the main entrance or at least what we're hoping to be the main entrance to the terminal building," he said.
A new south location is planned for the snow equipment building, now just east of the existing terminal.
"There's a lot of complicated pieces, a lot of different projects that need to be figured out in the coming years to get things moving," he said.
"We're at the stage where a lot of the design work is completed. We just need to make sure that we have funding in place to keep projects moving along," he added.
Schematic designs of the airport expansion project include the inside and outside of the new terminal "according to our architect's point of view," he said.
"We do have the ability to expand on this building should we continue to grow in the next 50 years," he said.
The new terminal, with two levels, will include, airline-related areas of gates, ticket area, hold room and baggage claim, car rentals, administration offices, a conference room, restaurant-bar, coffee shop/cafe and plenty of waiting room.
The restaurant itself will not overlook the runway and will only be available to those travelers allowed to go through security, Solsvig said. "The old days of the restaurant are long gone due to security. However, we will have space available for people to eat their food near the glass if they wish to look at aircraft but I'm sure many people will be able to view the ramp/airport activity from the restaurant due to the large wall of glass on the north side of the holding room."
"We have a lot of glass we have taken in consideration for sunlight," Solsvig said, adding, "We've taken in consideration as much environmental as we can."
The bar is called the "Trestle Bar" on the schematic designs. "The architects have been fascinated with the trestle bridge (west of Minot) and tied in some of those pieces into the design but also just naming the bar on their schematics," Solsvig said.
"We know that we have a huge need for the terminal building and we can't get it done fast enough but the reality is it's going to take us probably at least three years, possibly four, hopefully not five. It comes out to funding ability," he said.
"I think we are in a good financial position to fund the projects that we need to keep moving," Solsvig said. He said there's really three components to it: FAA, local and state support, plus money that will be sought from other sources.
The expansion project is expected to cost around $85 million, with about $40 million for the new terminal.
Solsvig said one of the popular questions right now is what will they do with the existing terminal when they move out.
"The answer is we just don't know at this point," Solsvig said. "We want to find a use for it, we want to go through the proper procedures of getting community input and ideas but the reality is we'll either find a use for it or we'll tear it down." He said if it is used they will charge fair market value for it as required by the FAA and require thatthe new use be compatible with the airport.