After a year of planning and mapping out, the Idaho Falls Airport can officially begin phase one of its expansion project after city council approved a grant from the federal aviation administration.
 
"This is really going to I think benefit the customers who come through or airport and provide convenience and improved experience," said council member Michelle Ziel-Dingman.

The grant is for a little over $3.45 million dollars, and will largely focus on the expansion of the terminal area.
 
The single baggage claim area will be replaced with two new ones to assist with the congestion they face when handling multiple flights at once.
 
The money will also go towards expanding the t-s-a screening area, which also currently has congestion issues.

"We over the last few years, we've been increasing our passenger enplanements (airplane boarding rates) every year by about 1.5-to-2 percent. And in the last few months working with other airline partners, we're looking at over the next few years expanding that even more," said airport director Rick Cloutier.
 
The airport is hoping to gain funding next year for phase two of the project, which will go towards expanding the exit lane areas of the airport making it easier to leave.
 
This was Cloutier's first significant move as the new director of the airport, and he says the project is necessary for where he wants to take the airport in the near future.
 
"More flights, more destinations, in and out of Idaho Falls," said Cloutier. 
 
Construction for the project will start next spring and will be completed in the fall of 2019.
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