Spokane International Airport (SIA) officials are considering a $110 million expansion and renovation project that could start in 2019. According to the Spokesman-Review, the most visible of the proposed improvements would be to relocate and centralize the baggage facility near the center of the airport. The changes would also add more spaces for food and other concessions outside of the security area.

Tomorrow the Spokane Airport Board will consider applying with the Federal Aviation Administration to use the existing $4.50 passenger facility charge to raise some of the financing for the project. If the FAA approves, the airport’s architectural team will complete up to 30 percent of the design, then airport officials would choose from a menu of potential projects, building it incrementally as the money becomes available.

The Terminal Renovation and Expansion (TREX) is in response to growth in airline travel while preserving convenience and customer service. Spokane airport traffic was up almost 8 percent in the first half of 2017, mostly due to new flights to major cities as well as overall growth in travel.

The new central baggage claim would cost nearly half of the total cost of all the projects, At $54 million. It would consolidate the two existing baggage areas into one centrally located bag claim with five carousels.

Also under consideration are expansion of Concourse C; renovation of Concourse A-B; construction of an airport operations center; a new concourse connector that is wider and more convenient; installing a new curbside canopy outside the terminal; construction of a new office building for airport administration; and a new and expanded second-floor waiting area behind security in Concourse C to serve both ground boarding and airport bridge boarding aircraft.

A financial analysis says the Airport Board in recent years has paid down its bonded indebtedness and now has room to sell bonds for financing the projects, according to a financial analysis. SIA has an A+ bond rating, which will help in keeping interest costs down. Revenue bonds would be combined with bonds backed by the passenger facility charge.

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