BELLINGHAM - A piece of Bellingham International Airport's major remodeling project was completed Tuesday, March 12, and it should mean a little more elbow room for passengers in the ticketing area.
Bellingham's Dawson Construction finished a portion of the airport's screening area, allowing for the relocation of the screening machines and other equipment. This freed up about 3,000 square feet of space in the ticketing area of the commercial terminal, which should help ease the congestion in that section of the airport, said Dan Zenk, aviation director for the Port of Bellingham.
In the first day of the change, Zenk said it was initially confusing for some passengers to differentiate between the ticketing and security lines, but otherwise it's gone well. They plan on making adjustments to make sure the lines are more distinct.
"The construction crew is doing a fabulous job maintaining existing operations while doing a project of this size," Zenk said. "It's never easy to do construction work in a fully operational airport."
The next step in the multi-year, $38 million expansion project is the opening of the carousel baggage area, which Zenk expects to be ready in late April. Currently passengers pick up luggage that's dropped off in one small area, creating a crowded situation. The carousel will allow a much larger area for people to move around to find their bags.
The rest of the security area expansion is expected to be completed in January. When finished, the screening area will be triple the current size and able to accommodate an additional screening line.
The entire project is expected to be done in January, increasing the commercial terminal from 25,615 square feet to 101,168 square feet, making it about the same size as the Bellingham Target store.
The airport is also getting ready for two new seasonal flights. Frontier Airlines will begin nonstop flights between Bellingham and Denver starting May 17 and lasting through the summer. Alaska Airlines will bring back its seasonal nonstop flights between Bellingham and Portland in June.