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Provo breaks ground for new $40 million airport terminal

Dignitaries including Utah Lt. Gov Spencer Cox, fourth from left, and Provo Mayor Michelle Kaufusi, sixth from left, break ground for a new terminal at the Provo Municipal Airport on Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019.
Dignitaries including Utah Lt. Gov Spencer Cox, fourth from left, and Provo Mayor Michelle Kaufusi, sixth from left, break ground for a new terminal at the Provo Municipal Airport on Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019.
Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

PROVO — The city broke ground Wednesday on a $40 million-plus terminal at the Provo Municipal Airport.

The 100,000-square-foot facility will feature four gates, a baggage claim and Transportation Security Administration stations. The structure will be configured so it could be expanded to 10 gates.

In addition to making it more convenient for travelers, Utah Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox, who attended Wednesday’s ceremony with Provo Mayor Michelle Kaufusi and other state and county leaders, said the new terminal will offer more options for travel and business.

”This changes everything, so it’s not just Utah County, it’s a whole bunch of rural Utah. Unless you’re close enough to St. George, this really is the best option for so many of us,” Cox said.

Currently, only one airline — Allegiant Air — flies in and out of the airport.

Airport manager Steve Gleason said officials are hoping the new terminal will allow the city to get more destinations, connecting service and additional airlines.

In addition, he said it will allow Allegiant to expand into some of the markets it would like to try out of Provo, which right now it can’t because it just can’t schedule those aircraft in.

“It’s been a long time coming,” Gleason said, adding that Utah Valley’s growth projections are “through the roof,” so the terminal can do nothing but help alleviate pressure on I-15 and the Point of the Mountain.

According to a study by University of Utah’s Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute, Utah County is expected to claim 27.8% of Utah’s population by 2065, only over 1% less than Salt Lake County’s projected 29.1%.

Funding from the project will come from an estimated $8 million grant from the Federal Aviation Administration, about $19 million in dedicated funds from the city, $4.3 million from Utah County, as well as $9 million in existing bond money approved during the last legislative session. Officials say it will not affect residents’ taxes.

The new terminal could bring in an annual economic impact equivalent to $15 million, according a news release from the city last year. The influx of flights, hotel stays, car rentals and jobs will boost the economy.

The terminal is expected to be completed in December 2021.