Sep. 2--The form of the terminal at Monterey Peninsula Airport hasn't changed much, but a just-completed $8.5 million face-lift has the terminal functioning better, airport officials say.
The renovation, which included seismic retrofitting, expanded passenger waiting areas and a new baggage claim, unfolded over the past 18 months. The temporary walls that shielded parts of the terminal during the work are about gone.
"We changed the flow of passengers," airport manager Tom Greer said. "It's modernized us."
The airport quietly marked the completion of the various jobs last week as passengers began passing through a relocated security area in the middle of the terminal.
The changes will allow passengers to make their way, as they do in most airport terminals today, from ticket counter, to security checkpoint, to terminal gate, Greer said. Things used to be a little more mixed up, he said.
The first work involved putting earthquake-safety features into the west end of the building, which dates back to the 1950s. The airport restaurant reopened in December 2006 after the seismic-safety work was completed.
All the airline counters have been moved to the east end of the building and a new baggage claim area was installed on the west end. With five gates, seating for passengers has grown by about 20 percent.
The gift shop was moved to the secure side of the terminal, and plans call for the snack bar to be put there, too.
Funds for the renovation came primarily from the Federal Aviation Administration and from ticket fees for passenger facilities, Greer said.
The changes have been on the subtle side. The terminal doesn't look different at all, from the outside.
Plans call for a new exterior paint job and other cleanup work, along with new signage inside.
"We didn't want to make the building look much different, just function better," Greer said.
The project was accomplished with relatively little impact on airport customers. And it came to an end with little fanfare. Airport officials plan to have a formal ceremony in a few weeks to mark completion of the "modernization."
Larry Parsons can be reached at 646-4379 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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