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SF Airport Leaders Plan For The Future

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The number of passengers coming in and out of Sioux Falls Regional Airport has increased by 45 percent over the last four years. Even though multi-million dollar renovations have just been completed, airport leaders said that could just be the beginning.   

The Federal Aviation Administration requires all airports to have what's called an airport master and airport layout plan. These lay out how the airport's future expansion and renovations are done over a certain period of time. The last one was done several years ago so it’s time for a new one, and airport leaders want travelers' advice.

Ben Mello, KLJ Project Manager for the Master Plan said," Everything in and around the airport we will be looking at for the next five, 10, 20 years out."

Mello and his team will be working with airport leaders to create a plan that will outline how the airport can expand as Sioux Falls and surrounding towns grow.

"Which looks at existing conditions, forecasts, facility requirements, alternatives and an airport layout plan," Mello explained.

Mello said the last airport layout and master plans were done in 2006. Now, most of the projects in them are complete, or out of date.
"So the airport needs to update a lot of these based on existing and projected conditions," Mello said.

Dan Letellier, Executive Director of Sioux Falls Regional Airport said, "Over the last three to four years, we have invested over $24 million just in the facilities here to accommodate our travelers."

Letellier said the ticket counters, all the way to the dining area have been redone. Additional gates and seating were added as well, accommodating the nearly one million people that will travel through the airport this year alone.

This new plan is essential Letellier said, and he already knows what's next on the renovation list.  

"One thing we are looking at is expanding our security checkpoint. That is one area right now that is really limited in space," Letellier said.

As for Mello, the next 18 months will be spent looking at how to answer one question.

"With this master plan, our terminal, our general aviation, our cargo, are they going to be able to meet the needs of the future," asked Mello.

Over the past week Mello and his team have held numerous focus group discussions with those who work in and around the airport.

The master plan will be completed by 2015.

If you would like to leave a comment or give advice on the master plan, you can do so at Sioux Falls Regional Airport’s website .

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