Airport Tops Off its Terminal Building Remake - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Airport Tops Off its Terminal Building Remake

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If there's one place that never met a recession, it's the Reno-Tahoe International Airport. The airport has been on a building spree for over a decade…over $250 million worth of projects, yes a quarter of a billion, over 10 years. That's about equal to what the Las Vegas airport spent. Standing outside one of the construction projects, Q & D Construction president Norman Dianda told us, "A lot of jobs have been created. The airport has put a lot of money into the construction economy." Considering the numbers, a bit of an understatement.

Business is booming, which is a bit odd considering higher ticket prices and the ever increasing jet fuel costs. But this airport is doing so well, here we are in the 116th biggest city in the country, yet we have the 60th busiest airport…averaging 4 million passengers a year. The airport's Brian Kulpin explained: "We're the 60th busiest because of tourism, but also now business. We're seeing a change in our passenger mix. It used to be 20-30% was business. Now we're closer to 40, even 45%."

And today (Tuesday), another giant crane added another piece for another topping out ceremony, this time for an all-new terminal building. As Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority president and CEO Krys Bart told us, "It will be much more of a seamless process for our passengers to come in that front door and check in, go through security and get on their plane."

When finished, the security screeners will be downstairs and dining and shopping upstairs. It's a 2-year, $27 million project…7 million coming from private investment. The rest? There's that $4.50 fee on your ticket. Brian Kulpin said, "That's been piggy banked for this project. We did a bond issue for this project. We have some federal dollars in there as well."

Opening day for the new terminal is still pegged for this coming April.

-written by John Potter

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