Manhattan regional airport to expand


During a Sept. 2 Manhattan city commission meeting, a unanimous vote was passed on the addendum of a September 2014 construction contract for the Terminal Expansion Project within the Manhattan Regional Airport, for $6.68 million with the Weitz Company of Lenexa, Kansas. Mead and Hunt of Madison, Wisconsin will receive $5.86 million for the design of the Manhattan Regional Airport addition. Part of the project was paid for by a $5.36 million grant from the Federal Aviation Administration.

An additional $299,471 was approved for the purchase of furniture, fixtures, equipment and cleaning supplies. Both phases cost about $17.06 million with the city funding $3.9 million and the Federal Aviation Administration funding $17.06 million.

This second and final phase of the project will finish the addition of approximately 29,000 square feet to the passenger terminal, as well as a second passenger boarding bridge and a meet and greet area which will include a food and beverage section, space for a gift shop and restrooms and will connect with an extended baggage claim and car rental area.

“This is going to be a brand new facility that businesses and residents can be proud of,” Airport Director Peter Van Kuren, said.

The goal of the expansion is to meet passengers’ current and future needs with the type of comfortable, convenient atmosphere they expect from a modern facility, according to Van Kuren. She believes the expansion will be a welcome relief for airport employees and passengers alike.

According to MHK’s website, “The need for terminal expansion became evident following the start of regional jet service to Dallas-Fort Worth.”

Every year since regional jet service began in 2009, the number of passengers has increased. In 2012, more than 125,000 passengers travelled through the airport.

“We’ve seen a lot of growth recently,” Van Kuren said.

The expansion will provide much more space for everyone at the airport. Van Kuren said that they have outgrown their current space. But while the expansion will provide many benefits for the airport, it won’t necessarily have any impact on the current airlines serving the airport.

“Just because we have a new terminal doesn’t mean that we will get new airlines,” Van Kuren said.