Category: Airport Expansion

Flathead Municipal Airport Authority to submit passenger facility charge application

The Flathead Municipal Airport Authority (FMAA) intends to file an application with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to impose and use Passenger Facility Charges (PFC) under §14 CFR Part 158.30. The FMAA seeks authority for to collect approximately $49.85 million in PFC revenue, with a proposed PFC level of collection of $4.50 per eligible enplaned passenger. This application will not change the current $4.50 PFC collection amount. The PFC funds will be used for the following projects at the Glacier Park International Airport (GPIA), each of which will have a $4.50 PFC collection amount:

  1. Airport terminal modernization and expansion necessary to accommodate the increase of passengers that has resulted from continued growth of commercial service at GPIA. $49.25 million of PFC funds are estimated for this project.
  2. Relocate the terminal leachfield, which is undersized for current operations. This will facilitate expansion to accommodate future growth. $6,152 of PFC funds are estimated for this project to reimburse FMAA for expenditures utilized as matching funds for a portion of FAA Airport Improvement Program (AIP) grant 55.
  3. Purchase of an aircraft rescue and firefighting (ARFF) vehicle to increase the safety of the airport by providing the appropriate equipment to service any fires on the airport. $73,722 of PFC funds are estimated for this project to reimburse FMAA for the local match for a portion of AIP grant 55.
  4. Terminal apron expansion of 15,000 square yards to alleviate current overcrowding that limits the flights the airport can accommodate. $381,093 of PFC funds are estimated for this project as the local match for a portion of AIP grant 55.
  5. Terminal expansion and modernization design to enhances the long-term sustainability of the airport by providing additional boarding gates, passenger hold room space, and other spaces to meet long-term capacity requirements. $128,159 of PFC funds are estimated for this project as the local match for AIP grant 56.
  6. PFC application preparation. $14,047 of PFC funds are estimated for this project, which is an allowable cost as part of a PFC application.

The estimated charge effective date for this PFC application is January 1, 2021, and the estimated charge expiration date is August 30, 2048. The FMAA currently has the approval to impose and use approximately $17.5 million of PFC funds, which is estimated to be completed at the same time as the estimated charge effective date of the proposed PFC application.

Additional information on the specific projects for which PFC approval is sought may be obtained by contacting GPIA Airport Director Rob Ratkowski at (406) 257‐5994 x 2004 or via email at . All comments must be received by June 12, 2020.

Notice of public hearing on proposed issuance by FMAA of airport revenue bonds or notes



NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Board of Commissioners of the Flathead Municipal Airport Authority (the “Authority”) will meet on March 10, 2020, at or after 4:00 p.m., in the Airport Administration Conference Room__ at the Glacier Park International Airport (the “Airport”), 4170 US Highway 2 Kalispell, Montana 59901, and hold a public hearing on the issuance by the Authority of one or more series of its taxable or tax-exempt airport revenue notes, bonds, TIFIA loan, or other obligations in one or more series (the “Obligations”) for the purposes of: (i) financing the acquisition, construction and equipping of an approximately 120,000 square foot terminal expansion to the Authority’s Glacier Park International Airport in Kalispell, Montana (the “2020 Project”); (ii) funding necessary reserves, if any; and (iii) paying costs of issuance of the Obligations.

In order to finance the costs listed above, the Authority proposes to issue and sell the Obligations in the estimated maximum aggregate principal amount not to exceed $70,000,000.  The Obligations will be special, limited obligations of the Authority payable from airport revenues, including passenger facility charges and the limited taxing power of the Authority.  The Obligations are not a general obligation of the Authority and the limited taxing power of the Authority will only be pledged to one or more series of the Obligations if such pledge is determined by the Board of Commissioners of the Authority to be advantageous.  The Obligations shall not be an obligation of the City of Kalispell or Flathead County and the City of Kalispell and Flathead County do not have any obligation (financial or otherwise) with respect to the Obligations.  The taxing power of the City of Kalispell and Flathead County will not be pledged to the repayment of the Obligations.

All persons interested may appear and be heard at said time and place or may file a written expression of their views with the Airport Director of the Authority prior to the date of hearing set forth above.  Any further information regarding this notice, the Obligations and the 2020 Project may be obtained from the Airport Director at Authority’s offices at the Airport.


Publication Date:  March 2, 2020.

Contractor selected for Glacier Park International Airport expansion

A stringent selection process recently completed by Glacier Park International Airport (GPIA) has resulted in the selection of Swank | Q&D Construction to lead the construction of the $100 million passenger terminal expansion.

The Swank | Q&D Construction team was selected by the Flathead Municipal Airport Authority through a stringent process following Montana state procurement regulations and the Montana Code Annotated.

GPIA chose a Construction Manager/General Contractor (CM/GC) delivery method for the project.  This project management method brings an experienced contractor on board during the design process to identify construction efficiencies, or challenges, that can be difficult for a design team to foresee. The goal of bringing the planning and the construction together for this blueprint phase is to minimize delays and costly change orders throughout the course of this complex project.

“Using a CM/GC method helps ensure a streamlined process. It’s a very large project with a lot of moving pieces,” said Rob Ratkowski, Airport Director. “In the interest of using our funding as carefully as possible, CM/GC was the clear choice.”

Swank | QD Constructors is a joint venture between Swank Enterprises of Kalispell and Q&D Construction of Sparks, Nevada.

Swank Enterprises is a family-owned, Montana-based business. “Swank renovated the airport 20 years ago,” said Ratkowski. “With their extensive commercial construction background, coupled with the airport-specific expertise that Q&D Construction brings to the team, we are extremely confident in their ability to deliver this project to our high standards.”

Partner Q&D Construction brings a background of more than 100 airport projects to the team, from interior improvements to ground-up construction.

“This is an exciting project for our community and visitors to Northwest Montana,” said Dewey Swank, Executive Vice President for Swank Enterprises. “We look forward to working with GPIA to build this expansion that will serve the increased passenger demands the airport is experiencing now and well into the future.”

The terminal expansion project will essentially triple the size of the current GPIA facility, though some improvements will be in operational areas such as TSA screening checkpoints, baggage management spaces and other back-of-house areas. The expansion will also create more holding rooms, gates, dining and beverage options, along with larger shopping areas, and an increased meet and greet lobby.

GPIA is strategically developing the existing passenger terminal for maximum flexibility in the future, adding spaces that can be expanded easily as passenger volumes continue to grow. “We’re planning for the next 20 years,” said Ratkowski.


The numbers keep climbing: GPIA passenger counts up 16% in 2019

Glacier Park International Airport (GPIA) reports that 356,297 passengers boarded planes at the airport in 2019, up 16 percent from 2018 enplanement numbers.

GPIA passenger numbers have more than doubled in the past decade, with the airport experiencing a steady increase each year since 2010. GPIA experienced the highest concentration of passenger numbers in July of 2019.

“The rapidly increasing number of passengers walking through our doors each year is impressive,” says Rob Ratkowski, Glacier Park International Airport Director. “It reflects our community’s strong economic growth, particularly because of the increases we’re seeing year-round, not just during peak tourist seasons.”

GPIA is currently designing a $100 million passenger terminal expansion to accommodate the increasing volume of visitors each year. The majority of the work will be dedicated to passenger terminals, with additional back-of-house improvements planned for operational areas such as TSA screening checkpoints and baggage management spaces. The expansion will nearly triple the size of the current airport, improve overall traveler experience, and reflect culture and character of Northwest Montana.

“Our expansion plan prepares GPIA to manage anticipated passenger growth for the next 20 years,” Ratkowski explains. “We’re ensuring that passenger spaces are designed with future development in mind.”

The Flathead Valley welcomes tourists year-round and consistently ranks in the top three destinations in Montana. Glacier National Park reported that more than 2.45 million people visited the park in 2019 from January to August.