MISSOULA – Calling it a ‘game changer’, U.S. Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) got an update on the multi-million dollar expansion of the Missoula airport on Tuesday.
He even got a look at what the finished product will eventually look like through virtual reality goggles. The new design accommodates more planes, more passengers and has updated safety features and amenities.
Sen. Daines said that infrastructure projects like this don’t just build business — they also keep Montana connected and competitive throughout the year by serving passengers from around the world.
“There’s two ways we as Montanans stay connected oftentimes and that’s through broadband and through air travel,” Sen. Daines said.
“We think about the tourism industry, the outdoor economy — that’s a $7 billion economy now, here in Montana. That’s going to be a primary driver and about 60% of the air travel here in the summer months is because of tourism,” he added.
Missoula International Airport Director Cris Jensen told Sen. Daines that almost a quarter of summer air travelers moving through Missoula’s airport are headed to Yellowstone or Glacier national parks.
Reporting by Mark Thorsell for MTN News