Category: Community

COVID-19 and our commitment to you

To our neighbors and guests:

At Glacier Park International Airport, we recognize this is a time of uncertainty, both across our country and within Montana’s borders. As schools close, restaurants turn to carry out options, and meeting sizes are reduced, the effects are being felt by our families, communities, and industries.

In particular, many travelers are understandably concerned about what is being done to manage the spread of COVID-19 at Glacier Park International Airport. Many have asked if our facility will remain open in the coming weeks. At this time, airport services have not been limited or suspended. If we receive direction from the federal government to do so, our team will act quickly to make the recommended changes and to update you.

Most immediately, Glacier Park International Airport is taking advanced measures to maintain our facility’s regular operations and to make our own intentional efforts to flatten the curve.

Cleaning practices

Glacier Park International Airport (GPIA) maintains rigorous standards for cleanliness in our facility at all times, and efforts have been enhanced as we do our part to limit the spread of COVID-19. Our maintenance team has increased both cleaning frequencies and the strength of cleaning chemicals; most fixtures in GPIA restrooms and public doors are already automated or touch free.

Personal precautions

Additional hand sanitizer stations have been purchased and made available throughout the terminal for guests, airport vendors, and airport staff. GPIA is working with its own staff and on-site vendors to encourage adherence to the current recommendations from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) including frequent handwashing, coughing into an elbow, maintaining a 6 foot distance from other passengers and staff when possible, and staying home if any symptoms of illness arise.

Coordination with air carriers and TSA

Our airline partners are also working hard to maintain essential travel. Airlines and the TSA screening force at GPIA are following their respective guidelines to keep their areas clean. Airline ground crews are currently cleaning planes with increased frequency. If you have a question about a particular flight or an airline’s cleanliness practices, we encourage you to reach out directly to the air carrier.

Monitoring the situation

At GPIA, we are carefully monitoring all developments related to COVID-19 and executing on recommendations from the Flathead County Health Department, CDC and our state and federal governments. At this time, the Flathead County Health Department has not instituted the screening of passengers for domestic travel; if screening is implemented in the future, it would be a directive issued by the Flathead County Health Department. GPIA will continue to work in close collaboration with these agencies and to communicate any changes that may impact your travel experience.

In the present circumstances, we recognize the decision to fly is not made lightly and that some travel is still essential. To that end, the team at GPIA is committed to your safety and will continue to operate on the same schedule, while exercising precautions to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. We are grateful to live in a community where people care. Our thanks goes out to both those who are able to practice social distancing and those who continue to serve our community in essential functions, both with the goal of flattening the curve.



Rob Ratkowski, Airport Director

Glacier Park International Airport











From the Big Sky to the Big Apple- Fly Direct!

Air service at Glacier Park International Airport continues to expand. American Airlines announced a direct flight to LaGuardia Airport (LGA) in Queens, New York. Additionally, seasonal American flights to Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) and Chicago (ORD) will switch to larger aircraft.

“The GPIA team is excited to welcome this new service next summer,” said Rob Ratkowski, director of the Glacier Park International Airport. “We appreciate these expanded opportunities to make a great first and last impression on new visitors to the Flathead Valley.”

Flights to LGA will be weekly on Saturday, with seasonal service set to begin on June 6, 2020. Seats will go on sale September 1, 2019 at

“National parks are a huge attraction for many families,” said Vasu Raja, Vice President of Network and Schedule Planning for American Airlines. “As soon as school’s out next year, our customers will have more than 145 weekly flights to Montana to choose from.”

Now served by planes with 76 seats, DFW and ORD service is increasing passenger capacity by nearly 50% by switching to 160-seat planes. American says they have expanded services based on the success of this year’s new service to Glacier National Park Airport.

“Demand is clear for more flights and more seats,” said Ratkowski. “It’s our responsibility to meet the demands and we’re working towards an improved passenger terminal every day.”

Glacier Park International has seen a 33 percent increase in passenger volumes since 2014. Looking ahead, Glacier Park International Airport is planning to add 40,000 square feet to the existing terminal, expanding the ticketing, baggage and waiting areas while also adding additional gates to better accommodate increased passenger volumes.

Work with Us! Maintenance Electrician Assistant

Position:  Maintenance Electrician Assistant

Reports To:     Maintenance Supervisor

Pay Rate: $20/hour

Purpose of Position

Under direct supervision of the Maintenance Supervisor, the Maintenance Electrician Assistant performs ordinary and customary installations, modifications, additions and repairs in accordance with MCA 37-68-103 (2) to ensure the efficient and continuous operation of airport-owned electrical and electronic systems.

Distinguishing Characteristics

This position is distinguished by the following work elements:

  1. Electrical and electronics repair and maintenance
  2. Ancillary maintenance

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

 The following duties are normal for this classification.  These are not to be construed as exclusive or all-inclusive.  Other duties may be required and assigned.

Electrical and electronics repair

  • Diagnoses and repairs malfunctioning electrical and electronic equipment
  • Monitors and repairs electrical and electronic components of building and airfield
  • Cleans, maintains and repairs lighting and other airfield systems
  • Installs conduit, raceways, cable trays, electrical power equipment, controls, fixtures, and other associated items
  • Performs preventative maintenance and calibration to electrical and electronic components
  • Orders electrical and electronic supplies
  • Assists in developing project specifications

Additional Tasks and Responsibilities

While the following tasks are necessary for the work, they are not an essential part of the purpose of this classification and may also be performed by other employees.

  • Repairs, inspects and maintains airport-owned facilities, machinery, equipment, and property
  • Operates a variety of heavy and light equipment
  • Operates snow removal equipment
  • Performs debris removal as necessary
  • Cleans shop, work areas, and equipment
  • Provides airfield escorts as necessary
  • Picks up parts from vendors
  • Other duties as assigned

Minimum Training and Experience Required to Perform Essential Job Functions

 The following training and education, or any combination of the two that provides equivalent knowledge, skills, and abilities, is required for this position:

  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Ability to successfully complete TSA background check
  • Ability to successfully complete pre-employment physical including drug screening
  • 2 to 4 years of experience in performing industrial/facility electrical maintenance duties
  • Good working knowledge/experience with both parallel and series high voltage circuits
  • Low voltage cabling experience

The following training and education, knowledge, skills, and abilities, are preferred for this position:

  • Montana Electricians license
  • Experience running scissor and bucket lifts
  • Experience with PLC’s, motor control, and airfield lighting installation or maintenance

Physical and Mental Abilities Required to Perform Essential Job Functions

Language Ability and Interpersonal Communication

Ability to assemble, copy, record, and transcribe data and information, following a prescribed plan.  Ability to compare, count, differentiate, measure and/or sort data and information.

Ability to advise and interpret how to apply policies, procedures, and standards to specific situations.

Ability to utilize a wide variety of descriptive data and information such as regulations, engineering drawings, airfield condition reports, specifications, diagrams, maps, maintenance manuals, safety training materials, maintenance records, time cards, and general operating manuals.

Mathematical Ability

Ability to add, subtract, multiply, divide. Ability to use formulas and equations used in the electrical trade.

Judgment and Situation Reasoning Ability

 Ability to use functional reasoning and apply rational judgment in performing influence functions such as instructing and leading.

Ability to exercise the judgment, decisiveness and creativity required in situations involving the evaluation of information against sensory and/or judgmental criteria, as opposed to criteria which are clearly measurable.

Physical Requirements

The following physical requirements apply to the position:

  • Ability to operate equipment and machinery requiring complex and rapid adjustments, such as trucks, snow removal equipment, fork lifts, compressors, generators, hoists, jacks, electrician’s tools, small hand tools, etc.
  • Ability to perform strenuous activity with the ability to occasionally lift and transport 80 lbs.
  • Ability to coordinate hands, eyes, feet, and limbs in performing skilled movements.
  • Ability to exert required physical effort to perform moderate to heavy work typically involving some combination of climbing and balancing, stooping, kneeling, crouching, crawling, lifting, carrying, pushing, and pulling.
  • Ability to recognize and identify similarities or differences between colors, shapes, sounds, odors, and textures associated with job-related objects, materials, and tasks.

Working Conditions

Work environment is dictated by activities at the airport.  Extended periods in difficult work environments may occur as a result of emergency conditions or inclement weather.  Work is frequently performed outdoors.  The position is subject to work outside traditional hours, emergency callout, and extended operating days.  The position occasionally involves working in a hazardous environment.  Some business travel is required.

Behind the Scenes at GPIA: Meet Michael Hingiss

Every guest at Glacier Park International Airport is protected by layers of security measures and special protocols- most of which passengers never see in action. “There are a lot of complex regulations. It’s my job to help everyone understand those,” says Michael Hingiss, Airport Security Coordinator for Glacier Park International Airport. “I try to get all those complexities into the Reader’s Digest format for everyone so it makes sense.”

Michael ensures that safety programs and procedures meet federal guidelines, manages security contracts for GPIA, works closely with local agencies, and controls security clearances for airport vendors and staff. As Security Coordinator, he is responsible for the safety of nearly 600,000 trips through GPIA made by staff members, visitors, guests and vendors at the airport.

Well prepared to manage the security of an organization like GPIA, Michael has a background in emergency management and law enforcement. He was ready for the ever-changing nature of airport security. “Every day is something different,” he says. “From folks who work in the airport to all the different airlines, it’s a lot of changing needs based on the season, the events going on, even the time of day makes a difference in where I am and what I am doing.”

Even with the changing demands of his job, Michael does find that some things are far too common. “Bags left unattended- and bear spray in luggage,” he says with a smile. “It’s a small, friendly airport, so people might feel okay leaving their bags in a corner for a while, but we always want to encourage keeping your things with you. And we understand carrying bear spray in this part of Montana, but luckily you won’t need it once you are at the airport.”

Originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota, Michael and his wife- a Montana native herself- lived in central Montana. When opportunities arose in northwestern Montana, his family jumped at the chance to relocate. His first visit to Montana was on a high school trip via train, and he was inspired to come back years later. He encourages visitors to spend their time in the outdoors, in a kayak or in the Swan Valley. Michael recommends Ciao Mambo in Whitefish for dinner.

GO Outside with GPIA’s Newest Shop

This spring, Glacier Park International Airport can boast about an amenity you won’t find at most airports: a gear rental shop right next to baggage claim. The airport location carries a variety of gear that you might need for your visit: coolers, trekking poles, binoculars, jet boils, and fishing rods are included on the list.

If you’re planning a family vacation, Glacier Outfitters has everything you need to bring the kids on every adventure: tandem kayaks, baby backpack carriers, kids’ bikes, and more. Visitors can also book guided tours with Glacier Outfitters, getting back into areas you may not even know existed in the pristine setting of Glacier National Park.

But before Glacier Outfitters landed at GPIA, it was just a tent and trailer of paddleboards alongside U.S. Highway 2. Shelby Hampton wanted to rent bear spray to Glacier National Park visitors, and Dave Hampton wanted to provide paddleboards to the same crowd.

The popularity of Glacier Outfitters outgrew their roadside trailer quickly. Dave and Shelby found a homebase for their small business at Apgar Village, inside the West entrance of Glacier National Park. Glacier Outfitters continues to grow, launching another location inside Glacier Park International Airport.

Their motto is, “We get you going.” Arming visitors with more than just bear spray and kayaks, Glacier Outfitters has made education a central part of their business.

Shelby explains Glacier Outfitters as “an information shop that rents gear.” The Glacier Outfitters staff teaches renters how to use the gear – and how to appreciate the landscape that provides them with the opportunity to recreate.

They pride themselves on safety, and they have a tutorial for every piece of gear in the shop. “The most important part of bear spray rentals is the education piece. We teach bear awareness, which is a new concept to most of our renters.”

Glacier Outfitters keeps it local – from bear spray to yurts, from fly fishing flies to t-shirts designed and printed by local community members, the gear available at their shop is rooted in Montana tradition. Glacier Outfitters’ home is Glacier National Park, but they also promote other activities in the Flathead Valley. With their new location inside the airport, they will have the opportunity to expand their offerings to winter rentals.

Looking to rent gear or book an excursion? Shelby recommends booking in advance (especially during busy summer months).

Visit to reserve gear or schedule an outing with the Glacier Outfitters team. For more information, give the shop a call at 406-219-7466. They’re happy to get you going! Find Glacier Outfitters in Glacier Park International Airport, across from baggage claim near Door 4. Hours are 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.


GOTV Rally Parking Information

GOTV Rally with Vice President Mike Pence at Glacier Park International Airport

In preparation for the GOTV Rally with Vice President Mike Pence, Glacier Park International Airport wishes to inform the public that parking for the GOTV Rally is at Gate 7, which is ½ mile north of the airport entrance on Highway 2. There is NO event parking at the terminal.

Directional signage will indicate the correct parking area for rally attendees.

All GOTV Rally information can be found at and

Additionally, a Temporary Flight Restriction will be in effect during the event. Check NOTAMS for procedures at

GPIA intends to maximize safety for all guests. If airport guests have questions about their flights, they may contact GPIA at 406-257-5994 or on

GPIA to partner with Kalispell Heart Program for Stock The Locker

Glacier Park International Airport and the Kalispell HEART (Homeless Education And Resources Together) Program’s HEART Locker will partner for Stock The Locker, a clothing and school supply drive to begin on July 28, 2018.

Since the most popular back-to-school shopping destinations will function as donation locations, donating will be convenient for all Flathead Valley residents. Any and all donations are welcome, as long as they are related to school supplies, clothing, or hygiene products. In order to best serve the HEART Locker, all donation locations will have removable tickets with listed items that are in highest demand in the community.

“We’re so grateful for the variety of items donated by our community,” says Nichole Heyer, Director of the HEART Locker. “If I had to choose one item that we’d love to receive in new condition, it would be socks, bras and underwear.” School supplies, clothing and hygiene products are accepted. Socks, bras and underwear are needed in all sizes to meet the needs of students from kindergarten up to high school seniors.

In addition to new socks and underwear for students of all ages, gift cards to restaurants and local retailers are in short supply. “The HEART Locker has an amazing selection of gently used clothing gifted to us by t

he community, and we definitely also see kids who just need to know where their next meal is coming from,” Heyer says, adding that Subway is a popular among the students that she serves. Gift cards of $10 can bridge the long hours between a child’s last meal and the next one. It’s an important gap to fill, especially in evenings and on weekends when kids can’t depend on school lunches and breakfasts to meet their nutritional needs.

Stores participating in Stock The Locker will be Walmart, K-Mart and the Kalispell Center Mall and donations can be dropped off at any location until August 12, 2018. The Glacier Park International Airport Fire Team will be responsible for pick up and drop off of all donation receptacles in each participating location. The HEART Locker will receive all donations the week of August 13, 2018, one week before the public school start date. 


The HEART Lock

er is a facility in Kalispell run by the HEART Program and Kalispell Schools, which acts as a free store for students in need. The facility receives donations from the community that include clothing, shoes, hygiene products and school supplies for the students to receive at no cost. HEART Locker is not open to the public, and each school in the Flathead Valley has their own key to the facility for students in need.

Glacier Park International Airport serves as the gateway to the Flathead Valley. The airport is committed to serving those that live within the community that they serve.