West Yellowstone airport

The West Yellowstone, Mont., airport is looking to replace its aging terminal and is hosting a public meeting Monday.

The West Yellowstone airport is looking to replace its aging terminal and is hosting a public meeting Monday as part of an environmental assessment for the project.

Over the next few years, the airport plans to build a new terminal, demolish the existing terminal, add a new beacon, improve the parking lot, expand and update roads and extend West Yellowstone’s water and sewer infrastructure.

The existing terminal was built in the 1960s and now has significant maintenance needs, said airport manager Jeff Kadlec. It also wasn’t constructed with current standards in mind, making it challenging to adhere to Transportation Security Administration requirements.

An environmental assessment, which is required by state and federal law, is the first step in the process for building a new terminal. Assessment work is beginning now and will likely finish by next spring, Kadlec said.

The Montana Department of Transportation’s Aeronautics Division, which owns and operates the airport, will host a meeting at 6 p.m. Monday at the Yellowstone Airport ARFF Building at 629 Yellowstone Airport Road.

At the meeting, officials will discuss the assessment and construction plans, said Wade Cebulski, airport/airways bureau chief. There will be time to ask questions and provide public comment.

The Department of Transportation also is accepting comments online at www.mdt.mt.gov/mdt/comment_form.shtml and by mail at the Montana Department of Transportation — Aeronautics Division, P.O. Box 200507, Helena MT, 59620.

The assessment, which the airport anticipates will cost about $300,000, will finish next spring. The airport will then begin designing the new terminal, Kadlec said. Construction could then begin as soon as spring 2021 and will take about 18 months.

The new terminal will be similar in size to the existing terminal but will be more efficiently laid out and will meet current needs and standards, Kadlec said.

The terminal project will cost about $15 million, with about 92% coming from a Federal Aviation Administration grant and about 8% from the airport.

In addition to the terminal project, the airport began a runway improvement project on Monday. The project includes repainting signage and applying a coating to the asphalt and will finish Sunday. This spring, the airport received a federal grant of about $400,000 for the project, for which it is providing an 8% match. The work is causing runway closures throughout the week.

“We are focusing most of our energy on the terminal project, which is a major undertaking, and we’ll be very excited when it opens,” Kadlec said.

Perrin Stein can be reached at 406-582-2648 or at pstein@dailychronicle.com. Follow her on Twitter @PerrinStein.

Perrin Stein is the county, state and federal government reporter for the Chronicle.

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