FSD Aims To Attract More Passengers, Airlines
South Dakota's Sioux Falls Regional Airport will soon see a
major upgrade, aimed at attracting low-cost carriers and new
"We're going to build some taxi ways for $3 million and we're
going to create some more spots for airplanes," said Mike Marnach,
The upgrade will focus on improving customer experience in areas
such as more ticket counters and an expanded baggage claim area. A
larger parking lot has already been constructed, and the airport is
in negotiations with a carrier.
"I'm optimistic Frontier will choose to come to Sioux Falls some
time in 2007," Marnach said.
Other improvements include expanding cargo areas by moving an
existing maintenance building and updating current runways to meet
FAA specifications according to South Dakota's KELO-11.
Funds for the improvements will come from airport patrons,
"If you don't come to the airport you never have to pay for the
airport. It's not funded by general tax dollars, it's funded with
user fees and ticket taxes," he added.
A 20-year "master plan" has been designed to efficiently utilize
the estimated $3 million per year it will take in using this
"This plan makes sure we spend it on the right things at the
right time," he said.
Growing demand has dictated many of the new changes. About
358,000 passengers utilized this airport in 2005. This number is
expected to increase to 420,000 within five years and to 645,000
within 20 years.
2006 saw all-time boarding records set 371,659. The airport is
currently served by Delta Connections, Allegiant Air, United
Express, Northwest and Northwest Airlink.