Countdown to open new terminal continues at Provo Municipal Airport
The recent announcement that Allegiant will be flying out of Provo into three more cities is another indication of the new airport terminal’s construction process.
What began as an explosive red-white-and-blue groundbreaking for the Provo Municipal Airport terminal expansion has already led to explosive growth in commercial air service. Six new flights have already been added since the Nov. 6, 2019, event. And the terminal isn’t even open yet, according to Nicole Martin, communications director.
On Nov. 18, Allegiant Air began service from Provo Airport (PVU) to Houston and Austin in Texas, and Palm Springs, California. “We’re thrilled to offer Provo residents with three new options for their warm winter giveaways,” Drew Wells, Allegiant’s vice president of revenue and planning, said. “We think vacationers will appreciate our unique brand of travel: low-cost, nonstop flights without the hassle of layovers and connections.”
The formula appears to be working, as Provo is now the second busiest airport in Utah.
“By investing in vital infrastructure, we created economic opportunity for Provo rather than waiting for it,” said Mayor Michelle Kaufusi. “While many will appreciate the personal conveniences of flying out of a regional airport, including shorter lines and personalized service, the economic benefits are substantial with each new roundtrip destination bringing an estimated $15 million into our local, regional and state economy.”
In addition to being a regional and state economic driver, the Provo Airport will reduce traffic congestion to Salt Lake by providing air travel alternatives and will generate job creation both during construction and after, Kaufusi added.
“The forward-looking design of the new terminal will not only provide more gates and destinations for traveling; it also incorporates many anticipated needs and wants for residents and those traveling to Provo,” said Brian Torgersen, public service division director. “The highlight of the airport will no doubt be an airy, glass-walled reunification room where families and friends can easily see incoming flights and welcome back loved ones.”
Business travel needs will also be met with designed quiet spaces, according to Torgersen.
“The convenience of the Provo Airport will be hard to beat with multiple airline counters and self-check-in kiosks for a quick and easy travel experience,” Torgersen said. “Expanded, streamlined areas for security checks and a convenient baggage claim area are designed to get travelers, whether coming or going, to their destinations as quickly as possible.”
Expectations are high among those working on the project that the airport will not only be an important economic driver, but that it will also reflect the city.
“Local residents might also feel a bit of déjà vu as they enjoy several concessionaire spaces and kiosks spots designed with Downtown Provo in mind,” Martin added. “Once through security, travelers will feel right at home with familiar, red-bricked business fronts and classic green awnings reminiscent of Center Street. Planned local eateries will provide the diverse culinary experience for which Provo has become known.”
The city has also worked to ensure the project was done in a way that is economically responsible to taxpayers.
“We’re proud of the efficiency and cost-savings of the Provo Airport terminal. By being forward-looking, we saved taxpayers approximately $2-3 million through advance purchase of much of the building and construction supplies before the rising costs and supply shortages,” Kaufusi said. “In addition, nearly $2 million was saved by using public works employees to clear land, improve the access road and install remaining utilities.”
With the June 2022 opening fast approaching, the flurry of construction activity continues. Parking lots and access roads are 90% paved, walls have been built, and utility installations are just about complete.
At this point, much of the work is now moving to the terminal’s interior finish. Baggage claim carousels are installed and airline counters are taking shape. “If you squint, you can almost see the first flight coming into one of the four new gates,” Martin said.
“Provo City is taking flight with our airport terminal being a perfect example of meeting the community goals outlined in our four Provo Pillars: Economic Vibrancy, Forward-Looking, Safe and Sound and Welcoming,” Kaufusi said. “The Provo Airport will contribute greatly to our local economy now and in the future and will be a safe, convenient way to welcome all to our thriving city, as residents, business travelers or vacationers.”