TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KLIX) – The second of a four-phase remodel and expansion project at the Magic Valley Regional Airport is well underway.

The $4.3 million project, of which 96 percent is funded by federal dollars, is on budget and on schedule, said Airport Manager Bill Carberry.

Carberry and Project Manager Andrew DiPietro led a group of local journalists on a tour of the airport on Tuesday morning. Workmen in hardhats stood on scaffolding to place new tile and paint on the facility, others used electrical tools to cut metal rods or secure beams in place.

I think this is another way of improving air travel for the community.

The project that started in April includes 8,000 square feet of new space and 6,000 feet that is being remodeled. Once complete, the project will accomplish three things, Carberry said: it will offer the right size screening operations for TSA; make the facility more comfortable for passengers; and allow room for more potential growth.

Improvements include an expanded holding area that will include restrooms. Currently, no restrooms exist in the current holding area. The ticket lobby and passenger screening areas also will be improved, and baggage screening will be moved to a more secure location out of view of airport customers. The current lobby holds between 80 and 90 passengers, but the new and improved lobby will be able to hold 150 to 160 people.

The second is the busiest of the four phases, said DiPietro, with Petersen Brothers Construction. On Tuesday, crews were wrapping up the installation of fire protection material in the new terminal, and in September they’ll start painting. He said the project, by his books, is ahead of schedule.

If everything continues to go well, he said, the project should be completed about six weeks early. It currently is scheduled for completion in early 2017. So far, 8,285 man hours have been logged on the airport project.

The current terminal was constructed in 1997, its façade painted brown, salmon and sage colors indicative of the arid Magic Valley. Now, blue and white will adorn the building.

Carberry said there are several expansion and remodels items that he's excited about, but mostly that the improvements overall will better serve the traveling public as they use the airport. The airport, which serves as a hub for Delta Air Lines passengers going to and from Salt Lake City, has three flights a day Sunday through Friday and two flights on Saturdays.

“I think this is another way of improving air travel for the community,” Carberry said.

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