A two-year project at the Sioux Falls Regional Airport was christened with the overall effort to improve the flying experience in and out of Sioux Falls.

Upgrades to the interior of the terminal at the airport came at a price tag of $12 million, but Executive Director Dan Letellier says with thousands of passengers coming through the gates, the project is worth the investment.

“The root of it was to expand the passenger screening checkpoint. It evolved into updating a 45-year old facility, really changing the core of the terminal building and making it easier for people to flow from the lobby up to the next level.”

Specific changes include new escalators, elevators, grand staircase and expanding the passenger screening checkpoint area which Letellier feels will be crucial to good customer service.

“We’re really focused in all that we do here is to make the airport facility safer, more secure for the traveling public. We also want to make it easy for folks to travel through our airport. It’s much more open with an airy feeling. It’s easier to get through the terminal whether you’re checking in, parking or getting through security.”

Letellier also touts additional artwork added to the lobby and in the waiting area at the checkpoint with pieces that both serve as a tribute to aviation and the South Dakota landscape with the added benefit of dispelling a few preconceived notions from out-of-towners.

“They get off the plane walk down the concourse into this wide-open space and are surprised. It’s good to hear that feedback that we make a positive impression on people.”

Future plans for Sioux Falls Regional Airport involve expansion of the baggage claim section and additional parking options.

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