- Associated Press - Sunday, March 13, 2016

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - Alaska Airlines is planning a $30 million renovation project to update terminals at 11 airport terminals across rural Alaska.

The Seattle-based company will spend three to five years overhauling three terminals and sprucing up the others. Terminals in Kotzebue, Kodiak and Barrow will see major renovations, according to The Alaska Dispatch News (https://bit.ly/1pnWqkw).

Alaska Airline spokesman Joe Sprague said as Transportation Security Administration services expand at smaller airports, the airline needs to change. He said at some rural terminals, passengers are forced to go directly from TSA screening through a door to board the flight with no room to regroup.

“In the years since 9/11 . there’s just more space taken up by screening equipment than there used to be” Sprague said. “We need to make changes at some locations to better accommodate TSA, and for customers.”

Terminals that don’t see major renovations will see aesthetic changes at the very least, such as new signage and ticket counter backdrops to show the airlines’ branding update and new paint jobs.

The project is part of a broader three-part investment that the airline is making in Alaska. The company is spending $50 million on a new hangar in Anchorage and replacing its five combination passenger-cargo planes with three all-freighter aircraft.

“We really view those internally . as one sort of overall effort to really re-invest in the state of Alaska,” Sprague said. “The whole thing is probably reaching $100 million. At a time when the oil and gas companies are reducing their footprints in the state of Alaska, we want folks to know we’re very committed to the state.”

Small changes at some of the airports will start this year in Cordova and Yakutat, and remodels in Kodiak and Kotzebue are set to begin in 2017. Sprague said work on the Barrow airport will start “over the next couple years.”

Alaska Airlines owns and operates airport terminal facilities in Nome, Bethel, Kotzebue, Kodiak, Barrow, Deadhorse, Cordova, Yakutat, Gustavus, Petersburg and Wrangell.


Information from: Alaska Dispatch News, https://www.adn.com

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