Officials of the Northern Colorado Regional Airport, US, have formally broken ground on a new 19,400ft² terminal project, marking the start of its construction.

The $22m terminal will serve as a catalyst for expanded commercial aircraft services to the airport and will therefore provide new economic prospects.

Colorado-based contractor Hensel Phelps is scheduled to start construction next week, with an estimated completion date of 4 September 2024, reported the Coloradoan.

The project secured approximately $17m in federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act funding with a spending deadline of July next year.

The Airport Advisory Commission, consisting of members from the airport’s two communities, Loveland and Fort Collins, invested these funds in the development to replace the old temporary terminal established more than 20 years ago.

The present terminal will be retained during the process but will be demolished post-expansion.

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In its initial stage, the new terminal will feature two gates, luggage and security facilities, and departure lounges, with capacity to add a second level.

Airport Advisory Commission chair Don Overcash was quoted by the Coloradoan as saying: “In a jigsaw puzzle, you have a lot of blue sky. All of those blue pieces fit together eventually, but there’s usually critical pieces that until you get those pieces identified and locked into place, it’s really difficult.

“This is visible proof of the work in the last ten years.

“We remain positive that soon you’ll be able to fly from Loveland to places like Steamboat, Phoenix, Vegas, Dallas or Houston and not have to go through that mess at DIA [Denver International Airport].”