GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KREX) — Airplanes are taking off at Montrose Regional Airport, but Airport Director, Lloyd Arnold says exciting new changes are too.

Arnold says, “we have a terminal expansion coming that will facilitate almost double the amount of people we have transitioning through the airport right now. We’re doubling the size of the airport. We’re adding two restaurants, a dedicated bar area.” Montrose County officials expects changes will cost upwards of $40 million dollars, but should also boost air travel to and from Montrose.

Katie Yergensen says, “this addition is key because it not only allows additional space for added carriers, it’ll include ultimately additional flights and additional offerings, more space for our passengers.” Several industries took a hard hit during the pandemic, including air travel, but for Montrose Regional Airport, it was one for the record book.

Arnold also says, “currently we have approximately 400,000 transitioning through our airport. 2021 was a record year for Montrose regional airport.” Southwest, Delta, United and American all offer service out of Montrose, but Southwest has been a major part of the airports growth.

Arnold added, “Southwest has been a great addition and asset to Montrose Regional Airport.”

County officials believe the airlines showcase Montrose Regional Airport as the Western Slope’s number one travel hub. Yergensen also says, “it’s a package deal, it’s easy to fly in and out of, we offer a large variety of carriers at affordable rates, it truly is the premier airport on the Western Slope.”

Dave Cole who just flew in from Phoenix, agrees, “gives them the ability to serve more people within a given period of time, I guess that’s a good objective.” One goal, “we have an end game of less than 12 months for a huge addition to our terminal,” says Yergensen, already taking flight.