Tag: Glacier Park

Passengers to be screened following air travel

Glacier Park International Airport joins Montana airports in protecting Flathead Valley residents, travelers

Based on a directive issued on March 30 by Montana Governor Steve Bullock, the Montana National Guard will be screening deplaning passengers at all commercial airports in Montana including Glacier Park International Airport.

These voluntary checks are anticipated to start April 3. Inbound passengers will be asked by members of the Montana National Guard to share relevant travel and health history, and to have their temperature taken following travel. The goal of these efforts is to limit the spread of COVID-19 in the Flathead Valley and to inform inbound passengers of the Governor’s quarantine order.

“We want to assure residents and travelers that this practice is being implemented as a precaution to help flatten the curve in our community,” Rob Ratkowski, Glacier Park International Airport Director, said. “Seeing our Montana National Guard in the airport may be a surprise to some and we wanted to let folks know ahead of time that this is no cause for concern.”

The unarmed Montana National Guard members will be screening passengers to learn of their relevant travel and health history and if they are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19. Should a passenger have a temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher, the Montana National Guard will escort the traveler to a separate room where they will be screened by a medical professional and referred if needed to the local Flathead City-County Health Department.

Per Governor Bullock’s quarantine directive, both Montana residents and non-residents entering the state for non-work-related purpose are being asked to self-quarantine for fourteen days following travel in order to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Although numbers have dropped significantly within the past month, travelers are still arriving and departing through GPIA. Domestic flights are still operating. Travelers are encouraged to check with their airline carrier prior to traveling to ensure they have the most up-to-date information.


Airline service at Glacier Park International Airport is provided by Alaska Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, and Allegiant Air. Cities with year-round service include Denver, Las Vegas, Minneapolis, Salt Lake City and Seattle. Additional cities with seasonal service include Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, Oakland, San Francisco and Portland. For more information about GPIA, please visit www.iflyglacier.com.





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.