Missoula Current: Missoula Airport Lands $6M Infrastructure Grant For Terminal Project

by Martin Kidston

Work to expand the passenger terminal at Missoula Montana Airport got a funding boost this week as part of a $1 billion push to upgrade airport facilities across the country.

On Thursday, Sen. Jon Tester said the Missoula airport would receive $6 million for its terminal project with funding from the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

“Missoula’s airport has seen an incredible increase in customers that can drive up costs and make air travel harder on Montana — something that this expansion will help address while supporting good-paying jobs,” Tester said in a statement.

The latest grants from the infrastructure bill will go to 144 airports in 44 states. Transportation officials this week said the funding will boost projects to improve the passenger experience and create jobs.

Crews have been working on the Missoula airport for nearly five years now. They completed the new south concourse in 2022 and broke ground on the east concourse last year. Together, the two phases cost around $110 million.

“We approached our terminal project to just build what we could afford as we made the terminal expandable,” said airport director Brian Ellestad. “This (new) funding allows us to finish out our terminal to full buildout.”

Once fully finished, the new terminal will offer eight gates, more passenger amenities and a new baggage claim. Airport officials said the improvements will position the facility for both service and passenger growth.

Last year, the airport set a new record with more than 913,000 passengers. It expects to surpass that number again this year.

“We’ll have a true eight-gate facility,” Ellestad said. “This additional funding will allow us to right size the new (east) concourse that is currently under construction and go from two jetbridges and allow us space to add two additional so that we balance both concourses, with each having four aircraft parking spaces with concessions in each area.”