BOZEMAN — The increased amount of people wanting to travel again after two years of lockdowns and mask mandates has produced one predictable result: airlines and airports in Gallatin County are now experiencing a surge in traffic.
Brian Sprenger, president and CEO of Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport, said the airport is handling more than 2.2 million passengers a year.
“Last year there was a 38 percent growth seen in the general aviation market in Bozeman,” said Sprenger. “This year it was 16 percent.”
Sprenger says they are fortunate to have the land to be able to expand to their needs. One important area is the business aviation side and the infrastructure to expand those areas.
Ron Schneider is the director of The Jet Aviation facility at the Bozeman airport. The facility is now in the midst of an expansion project to keep up with the rising number of operations in and out of the airport.
“Currently over here we’ve got a 40,000 square-foot hangar that we’re expanding,” said Schneider. “We’re also adding potentially three more hangars as well.”
Schneider and Sprenger both say there's been a need for additional aircraft hangars throughout the last year and a half, well above what they expected. They say construction of new hangars at the airport is just the tip of the iceberg and the airport will continue to expand in many different areas.
"We’re looking at every aspect of the airport of where we have constraints and challenges,” said Sprenger. “We’re working on each of them on a priority basis.”