Airport Terminal Groundbreaking Expansion Set For Friday

AIRPORT SCAN PIC

The City of Manhattan will celebrate the commencement of construction to expand the terminal at Manhattan Regional Airport (MHK) during a groundbreaking ceremony at 9 a.m. Friday, November 1, 2013, near the front entrance to the existing terminal.

Construction plans call for an expansion of the terminal building from 12,500 square feet to approximately 42,000 square feet, which includes two enclosed passenger boarding bridges. The airport will remain fully operational during construction, with the work taking place in two phases. The Weitz Company LLC of Lenexa, Kansas, is the general contractor for the project.

“The terminal expansion at Manhattan Regional Airport is key to servicing the residents and business needs of our growing community,” stated Manhattan Mayor John Matta. “Regional needs include those of Fort Riley and Kansas State University as well as those that will come online with the completion of the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility. In addition, Manhattan has a strong base of home-grown entrepreneurs and new businesses that are the driving force behind the region’s growth.”

The need for terminal expansion became evident following the start of regional jet service to Dallas-Fort Worth. The size of the needed expansion was determined by completing a Federal Aviation Administration-supported Terminal Master Plan in 2011. The number of passengers using the airport has increased annually since regional jet service began at Manhattan Regional Airport in 2009. More than 125,000 passengers passed through the terminal in 2012.

“As more than two years of planning and design come to a close, this groundbreaking event marks a new beginning for Manhattan Regional Airport,” stated Airport Director Peter VanKuren. “Designed to meet the long-range regional demand for air service, the bright and exciting future of commercial air service in the Flint Hills begins now.”

The expanded terminal will better accommodate passengers on American Eagle’s daily flights to Chicago O’Hare and Dallas-Fort Worth airports. Additionally, Allegiant Air is scheduled to begin offering twice-weekly flights to Phoenix-Mesa Airport on November 7, 2013.

The $15.8 million project is being funded through grants from the Federal Aviation Administration and City of Manhattan funding.

“The terminal expansion for which we are breaking ground is critical to meeting the needs of passengers arriving and departing our region,” stated Airport Advisory Board Chairman Dick Hayter. “Manhattan is fortunate to have a close partnership with the Federal Aviation Administration in providing the support needed for this expansion.”