July 02--TWIN FALLS -- The Magic Valley Regional Airport might soon be getting a $2 million to $2.5 million expansion of its screening and holding areas.
The terminal building was built in 1996, replacing one that dated back to the 1940s. The airport outside of Twin Falls, like airports throughout the United States, needed to expand its security and baggage screening areas in the years after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
The airport's master plan was updated a couple years ago and the recommendations for the upgrades came out of this plan, said Airport Manager Bill Carberry.
The plans, which were made available to the public at an open house in the terminal Tuesday afternoon, call for changes to the layout to some areas of the existing terminal building and adding a new section, which would house baggage checking, sorting and screening and an expanded holding area -- where people wait after going through security but before getting on their flight. And, it would add bathrooms to the holding area. There aren't any now and Carberry said the lack of facilities is a common complaint.
Ninety-five percent of the project's total cost is eligible for Federal Aviation Administration funding. Passenger facility charges the airport collects based could cover some of the local cost.
Carberry said he plans to present the plans to the Twin Falls City Council later in July.
The airport hosts two 50-seat passenger flights daily between Twin Falls and Salt Lake City and flights to other area airports sometimes get diverted to Twin Falls, Carberry said.
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