The Laramie City Council and the Albany County Commissioners are holding a workshop this Friday, March 23, to receive a presentation on the Laramie Regional Airport Terminal Project.

The workshop will begin with a tour of the existing terminal building at the Laramie Regional Airport at 10:30 a.m. The presentation will follow at the University of Wyoming Gateway Center at 12:30 p.m.

LAR documents outlining the project the terminal facility will be increased from 6,490 square feet to 14,250 square feet. LAR says this is need to accommodate the increase in passenger loads and the larger aircraft the terminal is accommodating.

“The terminal is operating beyond its design capacity and is in need of improvements to sufficiently serve the traveling public,” LAR’s project overview reads.

LAR says the terminal was constructed in 1960, and was designed to accommodate 19 to 30 passenger aircraft. SkyWest Airlines, which serves Laramie, transitioned from 30 passenger turbo-prop aircraft to 50 passenger jet aircraft in Feb. 2015 – and as a result, LAR’s screening area and public spaces are significantly undersized.

The conditions of the airport terminal, LAR says, have wider ramifications than just the airport.

“The commercial airline service at Laramie Regional Airport contributes to the success of the region by providing the necessary air travel links to Wyoming residents, businesses and visitors,” LAR said in the project overview.

The Wyoming Department of Transportation, Aeronautics Division’s 2013 Economic Impact Study showed the total annual economic impact of commercial airline activities for Laramie Regional Airport is $20,883,780.

While LAR estimates the total cost of the project at about $12 million, it has secured grants from the Federal Aviation Administration and the Wyoming Department of Transportation that covers $4,580,000 of the costs. That leaves a funding shortfall by a little under $7.5 million.

Laramie Mayor Andrea Summerville said the City Council has not taken any formal action on this matter yet, but they have discussed funding the terminal project through the 6th penny tax. Summerville said LAR is not under the purview of the city, but the Joint Powers Board comprised of city and county officials. She said the city does provide funding to the airport through the Community Partner Program.