Flathead Beacon: Letter to the editor: Our Beautiful Airport

by Carol Minnick Santa

Several weeks ago, I had the opportunity to take a flight from Kalispell to Seattle. As I walked into our airport, I was struck by how gorgeous it is. Our airport is absolutely spectacular! I waited for my plane in a comfortable leather chair, reading my book by an inviting fireplace. The luxurious spaces created a sense of calmness so different from my other experiences in airport terminals. 

This airport expansion happened because Congress passed the infrastructure bill. I want to thank Sen. Jon Tester who was one of five Democrats and five Republicans who negotiated the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that secured $25 million for the city of Kalispell. This bill not only supports the airport renovation, but also provides funding to widen West Reserve Road from three to five lanes, to widen the Stillwater Bridge, to build sidewalks, and make intersection improvements to Hutton Ranch and Whitefish Stage Road. This bill also funds expanding high-speed internet to every corner of the state. 

According to Pete Buttigieg, U.S. Secretary of Transportation, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is funding more than 508 different projects in Montana for a total of $5.3 billion federal dollars. These projects, representing a partnership between Montanans and federal officials, have provided thousands of Montana workers with high paying jobs. Projects identified for funding have all been selected by local communities, not Federal bureaucrats. 

This support for Montana only happened because Jon Tester worked across the aisle with both Republicans and Democrats. It is also worth noting that Senator Daines and Representatives Zinke voted against this bill. We need Senators and Representatives who put Montana first.

If you happen to be taking a flight from Kalispell, go early so you can spend extra time in our beautiful airport and thank Sen. Tester for his tireless work for Montana.

Carol Minnick Santa