Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport terminal interior

BELGRADE, Mont. - Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport is looking to the future as it shares its 20-year plan with the public in a meeting planned for Thursday evening.

Already the busiest airport in the state, Bozeman Yellowstone could see 2019's record-breaking passenger numbers double by 2039 - if airport estimates are correct - to about three million passengers annually.

Because the airport's structure has been well-maintained and is in good shape, officials say they'll only need to make small updates to the facilities over the next two decades.

They don't plan to add more runways. Instead, they'll focus on adding more capabilities to their current runways.

Some other projects on the horizon include a possible terminal expansion (which would be in addition to the one already underway at the airport). Officials say that expansion all depends on passenger numbers and would likely be phased based on the needs of passengers. The terminal would likely only be expanded up to 20 gates (it currently has seven gates with four more under construction).

There will also eventually be an expansion of services for private and business flights.

Even as the airport operates at a fraction of its usual traffic because of the coronavirus pandemic, officials are keeping an eye on the horizon, saying they don't think the pandemic will cause a long-term impact to the airport.

"There's a lot of things going on in southwest Montana that would indicate that our growth trajectory will continue to happen," says airport director Brian Sprenger, "even with the current situation with COVID-19."

The meeting will be held at the Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport at 5 PM on Thursday, June 25.

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