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Billings-Logan Airport completes terminal expansion; will it attract passengers?

Billings-Logan Airport expansion
Posted at 3:28 PM, Apr 19, 2024

BILLINGS — Friday was almost five years in the making at Billings-Logan International Airport.

After breaking ground on Sept. 23, 2019, on its $60 million terminal expansion, the regional hub officially opened its second half: Concourse B.

The celebration marked a stark contrast from the early days of the project. In April 2020, the airport was basically shut down, caught in the beginnings of the COVID-19 pandemic. Nobody could know then just how much that would change the Magic City.

"The dip that we took to our passengers when the COVID pandemic came on was a significant impact to the community," said Airport Director Jeff Roach. "The recovery we’ve seen has been slow and steady. We’re not back up to our high 2019 numbers yet."

Billings-Logan Airport expansion
The newly-opened Concourse B at Billings-Logan International Airport features lots of natural light from nearly floor-to-ceiling windows and a row of skylights over the walkway.

Roach is hoping this now completely open, shiny new terminal will change that. Nine total gates: eight with jet bridges and one ground gate, which almost doubles the previous airport’s capacity. Montana State fans will be happy with the addition of the Bobcat Gate, to Concourse A’s Grizzly Gate.

It means there’s plenty of room for growth.

"An upgraded terminal with modern equipment and large capacity at the gates and new jet bridges is all extremely important to the air carriers," Roach said. "So that they know they’re not going to be fighting over space or old facilities."

Billings-Logan Airport expansion
Montana State University fans will be happy to see the Bobcat Gate in the newly-opened Concourse B, to complement Concourse A's Grizzly Gate.

It’s already working. There are 18 percent more seats available between March and August of this year than 2023. It’s music to the city’s ears.

"We need to attract entrepreneurs, business people, investors, retirees," said Billings Mayor Bill Cole. "The way to do that is to have a great airport - that’s how people travel these days. So it's absolutely essential to our way of life and our economy."