Just weeks after he helped break ground on Bert Mooney Airport’s new state-of-the-art terminal, Senator Jon Tester announced Thursday that the Butte airport will receive an additional $747,000 from the Federal Aviation Administration to help complete the project.
The award comes from the FAA’s Airport Improvement Program, which has invested more than $25 million in Montana’s airports this year, according to a news release from Tester’s office. This new money will supplement the $9.2 million Butte has already received for the project through the federal government.
Bert Mooney boards about 30,000 passengers each year. The airport’s current terminal is more than 60 years old and no longer meets the basic security, functionality, and accessibility requirements of a modern airport.
The project is expected to be pivotal to Butte’s ongoing revitalization efforts, creating jobs, expanding economic opportunities, and allowing for more commercial and recreational travel both in and out of the city, the release said.
The new terminal is slated to be 39,000 square feet and feature a lobby, a ticketing area, conference space, TSA screening areas, food, retail, and a new baggage claim carousel.
Tester said he has worked hard to improve air travel infrastructure, both in the city of Butte and throughout the state of Montana, the release said. He fought to pass the FAA Reauthorization Bill, which extended funding for the agency days before it was set to expire back in July. This guaranteed future funding for state airports through the AIP and ensured the continued survival of the Essential Air Service Program, which has helped keep the cost of air travel low throughout Montana.