JOIN OUR TEAM: Snow Removal Operators

Glacier Park International Airport continues to prepare for winter in Montana! We’re ready to add snow removal operators to our team. $16/hour for new operators and $17/hour for returning operators.

To apply, attend our mandatory informational meeting and group interview on Wednesday, October 7 at 5:30pm in the airport maintenance shop (2525 Trumble Creek).

Job applications can be:

– Completed at the meeting

– Picked up prior to the meeting in the airport administration office

– Or completed online via the website


May 6: MT Nat’l Guard conducts flyovers in recognition of COVID-19 support

Keep your eyes on the sky tomorrow! The National Guard will be overhead with the C-130 tomorrow in the Flathead Valley between 11:30 a.m. and 11:45 a.m.

Montana Air National Guard, will perform flyovers throughout Montana on Wednesday, May 6, 2020. The event is part of the Air Force Salutes flyover program with similar events planned throughout the nation. The purpose of the flyovers is to demonstrate the Department of the Air Force’s continued readiness during the national COVID-19 response, while saluting the American heroes at the forefront in the fight against COVID-19. The flyovers are intended to lift morale in towns, cities and states across America due to the severe health and economic impacts that have resulted from COVID-19.

“The Montana National Guard salutes each Montanan serving on the frontlines in our fight against COVID-19,” said Col. Buel Dickson,
commander, 120th Airlift Wing. “These flyovers are a small gesture of appreciation to the heroes across the state. You epitomize the ethos as

Montanans helping Montanans. We are indebted to your service and appreciate your efforts in trying to keep our state safe.”
The event begins in Great Falls Wednesday morning with a two-ship flyover of Benefis Hospital. The aircraft will then split off with one taking an eastern route and the other covering the western part of Montana. Together they are scheduled to fly over more than 20 cities and towns, focusing on health care facilities in the regions they visit.

A detailed list of towns and times will be released is available at

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.

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





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











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.


“The best we can be” | Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting at GPIA

At every U.S. airport with airline service, there is an Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting (ARFF) team comprised of specially trained firefighters to handle firefighting, rescue and operational incidents of jet-sized proportions.

At Glacier Park International Airport, Fire Chief, Troy Glasman, is focused on keeping his team response-ready and at the top of their game.

“We want to be the best we can be,” says Glasman.

Glasman has been serving the Flathead Valley as an emergency responder for decades, with more than 25 years of firefighting background. A former West Valley volunteer fireman, he worked his way up to become the West Valley Fire Marshal and then moved into a position with ARFF at Glacier Park International Airport.

Keeping the GPIA ARFF team response-ready 24/7 all year round takes time and dedication. The team coordinates runway maintenance, reports on runway conditions 24/7, manages wildlife interactions at the airport (remember last year’s black bear event?), responds to emergencies at the airport, and provides mutual aid for emergencies outside the airport boundaries.

Glasman takes the ARFF role as a community resource seriously, and it’s reflected in his dedication to local partnerships.

“The airport is on the forefront of some important resources, like pushing forward a Rescue Task Force program,” Glasman says.

A Rescue Task Force is a nationally recognized model that lays a blueprint to organize, prepare and mobilize local emergency services, law enforcement, hospitals, and fire departments in a crisis.

In a rural area with many small communities, Glasman knows coordinating all these services is a challenge. “But I’m looking forward to setting up our team, and local partners, so we’re ready to go when needed,” he adds.

For all his clear dedication to the ARFF mission and GPIA passenger safety, Glasman does hold one thing above work.

“Family, that’s the most important thing in my life,” he says.

He and his wife came to Montana with two young children and added two more after they moved to the state. Now, Glasman enjoys fishing, hunting, hiking with his family (most recently summiting Great Northern), and is looking forward to the birth of his second grandchild.

Glasman might be as smart as he is brave. When asked for his favorite spot to eat in the Valley, he immediately and confidently responded: “my wife’s kitchen.”

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.