Duluth, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) -- The departure of the Duluth International Airport's old terminal welcomes the arrival of a new one...and this state of the art facility is one that is becoming a new dawn of Aviation
We got a first-hand look at the new $77.5 million dollar terminal and shows us how the project is coming along.
The countdown begins....
"102 days, yes...were at phase three right now."
On January 14, 2013, the new terminal opens...and with one more phase to go, it's what many are already considering the 'Premier Gateway to the Region.'
"This building is state of the art, it's a green building, LEED silver certified, the efficiency for flow for passengers both in and out of the building, far surpasses than what we have in the existing terminal right now," said Executive Director Tom Werner.
"It's probably a project, for me, once in a lifetime, as far as the magnitude of what it's going to do for the community," said Senior Project Manager Mike Dosan.
To Cirrus Aircraft, Kestrel Aircraft and even AAR...the new terminal adds strength to the Northland's soaring aviation hub.
"We hope the finished facility will attract new air carrier opportunities, we continue to grow our air service here and offer additional flights not only to current destinations, but additional flights for the region," Werner said.
The Duluth Airport Authority recently received an Airport Improvement grant for almost 12 million dollars from the FAA and Minnesota Department of Transportation...comprised of approximately 8.5 million dollars of federal shares, 1.5 million dollars from state shares and almost 2 million dollars from local shares...but it wasn't easy to obtain.
"Securing the funding through the FAA and other sources in order to fund this 77 million dollar passenger terminal project, timing doesn't always coincide with other grants, so being very diligent and aggressive in obtaining those grants, was key throughout the project," Werner added.
Although the new terminal is pleasing to the eye, it is important to consider all the hard work put into the job.
"Seeing everything come together, the quality of the craftsmanship that has gone into the project, the pride that everyone's taken," Dosan said.
In Duluth, Jenna Vogt, the Northland's NewsCenter.
Phase four of the project will begin in February...A new parking structure with a skywalk connecting to the passenger terminal will be constructed.
Everything is expected to be completed in fall of 2013.