Magic Valley Regional Airport wrapping up expansion project

Published: Apr. 4, 2017 at 6:35 PM MDT
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The Magic Valley Regional Airport expansion nears its official completion.

Contractors worked on the expansion and remodel in phases starting last April.

"It's been a good process. We've been able to open up the terminal in phases so the hold room, the checkpoint has been opened," said Bill Carberry, airport manager.

Now, they are just about to wrap things up.

"We're getting down to our final punch list here," Carberry said.

The project cost $4.3 million — 95 percent of which came from federal funding that included 6,000 square feet of new space.

"You'll see new airline counters, you'll see a new screening checkpoint for the TSA, bag screening, which used to be conducted in the lobby is now behind the wall in a special room back there," Carberry said.

This is something Mary Minerd, a flyer headed to San Francisco, found more convenient. She's used the airport several times to visit her grandparents in Buhl, but she didn't notice anything changed at first.

Once she gave it another thought, she realized, "(the checkpoint) wasn't there before, so I noticed that and I thought that was new. I was like 'Oh, good. A real check through.' I thought that was very more modern and appropriate," Minerd explained.

The new look aims to catch up to the amenities of a larger international airport.

"There's a new hold room and gate area, so when people go through passenger screening, it's got restrooms in there, it's a lot more comfortable, more spacious...," said Carberry.

He also told KMVT they plan to add advanced imaging technology for the checkpoint sometime later in April, which Minerd was excited to hear about.

"I think the scanner is very cool. It's much more noninvasive and it's quicker," Minerd said.

A ribbon cutting ceremony will be held at the airport terminal on Wednesday, April 19 from 10 a.m. until noon for everyone interested in seeing the updates for themselves.