The improvements to the terminal are necessary to meet security requirements, through the creation of a larger space for passengers to wait after being cleared through security. Plans are in place to make the improvements at a cost of about $1.5 million.
And while the airport board has budgeted for the improvements in 2011, it will not necessarily pull the trigger on construction until and unless flights are scheduled.
The airport can accommodate bigger aircraft as of this year due to a $50 million runway improvement that was completed this summer. But whether airlines will utilize the airport is a separate question.
The Regional Air Organization will be negotiating with airlines to obtain flights to TEX in the spring. If flights are secured, that will allow sufficient time for the necessary terminal improvements to be completed, Jon Dwight, who serves on both the air organization and airport boards told the air organization board.
Scott Stewart, director of the air organization, told the board on Friday that he did not believe airlines would be concerned by the fact that the terminal improvements are merely approved and funded but not yet constructed when they consider whether or not to schedule TEX.
Improved air service to Telluride has been a long-term goal for both the Telluride Regional Airport and the Regional Air Organization, and is now possible since the biggest obstacle, the runway improvements, are complete. To the same end, the airport is also weighing whether to seek approval for commercial flights in and out of TEX after dark.
Air service to TEX has steadily declined over the last decade as service to the Montrose County Airport has improved.