Terminal, More Flights Top GI Airport's Budget Plans

Coming off a record year, the Central Nebraska Regional Airport has big projects ready to take flight.

They're on pace with last year's record of 56,000 passengers.

But it hasn't gotten any easier to attract new flights, because of airline consolidation.

So Executive Director Mike Olson said they're increasing their budget in that area.

"We got great momentum going now, we want to keep that going and there's going to be an expectation by the citizens of not only Grand Island but this region that we have and maintain good air service," he explained.

Next year they'll begin construction on a new terminal, with more room for people and planes.

Olson said, "Just because we're Grand Island doesn't mean we can't enjoy nice features you see in Dallas or Chicago but on a smaller level."

This marks the airport's fifth anniversary of Allegiant service to Las Vegas. And they just renewed daily jet service to Dallas on American.

They also have Allegiant flights to Phoenix-Mesa. Unlike last year, Olson said there will be no hiatus in that schedule this year.

Olson said the airport's budget goals include promotion and marketing of the improvements they are making.

The new terminal will be about 33,000 square feet and will include a jet bridge. There will be two restaurants, one of them after the security checkpoint.

They intend to take it to bid in the winter of 2014 and break ground in the summer of 2014, with completion in the fall of 2015.

Not only are they making plans to replace the terminal, they plan to extend a runway and build a new private plane terminal.