Airport Authority Approves Phase One of GPIA Expansion

Airport Authority Approves Phase One of GPIA Expansion
Construction slated to begin this summer
KALISPELL, Montana (May 14, 2021) – The Flathead Municipal Airport Authority (FMAA) met Tuesday and gave approval for phase one construction of the Glacier Park International Airport (GPIA) expansion.
“We are really excited for construction to get underway. The project is a culmination of four years of planning” Rob Ratkowski, GPIA Director, said. “This expansion will nearly triple the current square footage of our facilities, taking GPIA from 75,000 square feet to almost 200,000 square feet.”
Glacier Park International Airport has been a part of the Kalispell community for more than 70 years. What began in 1942 as a small runway in the middle of farmland grew into a commercial airport in 1950 and eventually an international airport by 1970.
“The airport is a vital asset to this community and the terminal expansion is pivotal for continuing to provide an important service to Kalispell and the surrounding areas,” Ratkowski said.
Originally slated to begin last year, construction was paused following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent decline in travel. However, over the course of 2020, Glacier Park International Airport experienced a remarkable recovery in travel numbers.
“The travel recovery at GPIA is a tremendous indicator of the increasing popularity of the area,” Ratkowski said. “The airport expansion will allow us to comfortably accommodate a greater number of airlines, routes, and travelers; those wanting to visit the Flathead Valley and those traveling from Montana to other areas of the country.”
Swank Enterprises and Q&D Construction were awarded the construction contract in February of 2020 and began pursuing subcontractor bids following an FMAA approval in January of this year.
The majority of the expansion work will focus on passenger areas, with additional back-of-house improvements planned for operational areas such as TSA screening checkpoints and baggage management spaces.
As construction begins, the passenger experience will remain largely unchanged through the busy summer season. The preliminary work is almost complete and ground breaking on the basement facilities will begin later this summer.
Airline service at Glacier Park International Airport is provided by Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, Sun Country Airlines, Jet Blue and Allegiant Air. Cities with year-round service include Denver, Las Vegas, Minneapolis, Phoenix/Mesa, Salt Lake City and Seattle. Additional cities with seasonal service include Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York (LaGuardia), New York (JFK), Oakland, Portland, San Diego, and San Francisco. For more information about GPIA, please visit

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