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Sioux Falls Airport looks to get bigger

todayJuly 9, 2024 3

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The Sioux Falls Regional Airport is expanding.

Right now it’s in the process of adding on a parking ramp with a skywalk but there’s a lot more in the works.

It’s also looking at adding on to the airport itself with more gates.

The Sioux Falls Airport is not that big according to most travelers.

“It’s small, but it’s easy to get around in,” Cindi Westerman said.

But it can get busy at times.

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“We really are undersized, especially certain times of day,” airport director Dan Letellier said.

“In the morning all the gates are full with launch flights and even during certain times of the day like midday the gates are all full.”

Letellier says the airport has a plan in place to add five more gates with an option for a sixth.

“The sooner the better, we are well into the design phase, we are about two-thirds of the way done with the design for the new concourse,” Letellier said.

The airport also wants to extend the concourse out farther so it can add another three gates, bringing the total number to 14.

“You know we’re still going to be smaller than Omaha, which is going through it’s own $900 million dollar expansion, and still a bit smaller than Des Moines, but for our size community it’s certainly a substantial increase in the amount of gates we have,” Letellier said.

Letellier says as the city continues to grow, the airport has to keep up.

“You know over the last 20 years the city has grown on average about three percent, you know, and the number of travelers we have come through the airport has really mirrored that same growth rate about three percent a year,” Letellier said.

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Letellier hopes the project can get off the ground sometime next year, but a lot of that is going to depend on securing the funding and that’s going to be over $100 million.

That money will have to come from multiple sources, including federal and state dollars.

Travelers we talked with like the idea of a bigger airport with more gates.

“That’s a good idea, sometimes when we fly back in from, let’s say Las Vegas, we have to wait for a gate,” Westerman said.

Plus it’ll open up the competition to add more carriers flying out of Sioux Falls to new destinations.

“You know some of those hub destinations whether it’s Salt Lake, Houston, Newark or Laguardia in New York, so those destinations we are looking at,” Letellier said.

And that’s exciting news for those who travel a lot.

“To bring on some more airlines or whatever it is to be able to get somewhere quicker, yes why not,” Stephan Bernardino said.

Letellier says the time is now.

“The growth is only expected to continue but we need to have the extra space to be able to accommodate the growth that is coming,” Letellier said.

“If it’s needed let’s get it,” Bernardino said.

To take a closer look at the expansion plans, click here.

Written by: The Dam Rock Station

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