The Metropolitan Airport Commission (MAC) has approved a plan to expand Minneapolis-St Paul International Airport’s Terminal 2. The development will see three new gates added to the terminal at a cost of around US$26m and the airport has said the expansion will take two years to complete.
Traffic at Minneapolis-St Paul is expected to grow by 4% by 2016. The expansion will help relieve congestion at Terminal 1 and help prepare Terminal 2 for future growth.
Approval of the project was uncertain due to Terminal 2’s main tenant, Sun Country Airlines, threatening to cut back its services or leave altogether. The airline, which accounts for one-third of traffic at the terminal, is in the middle of a labour dispute, which could put the company out of business. This is despite the fact that the airline catered for 1.7 million passengers in 2014 and demand is up 17% over last year’s first quarter.
MAC decided to go ahead with the expansion to ensure it can cater for Sun Country’s growth if it does stay in business. Airport officials reported that if the airline goes out of business, then the extra gates could be marketed to another airline.