BELGRADE — A total of 2 million passengers have traveled through the Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport.
Passenger Kaitlin Southworth shares why she isn't surprised by the growing popularity of this location.
“We come every couple of years like every two to three years," says Southworth. "My parents have been coming since like the early 90s, but we've been coming for quite a few years now and we love it here.”
She says her favorite part about this airport is that it doesn't feel as though it's growing.
“It's just so pretty. It's like, just so chill and relaxed. Not a lot of hustle and bustle,” says Southworth.
The main terminal has been around since 1977. The airport has expanded seven times since then. CEO of the airport, Brian Sprenger says there are 10 times as many passengers today than there were 20 years ago and they are expecting those numbers to keep climbing.
“Well we expect to end the year at about two and a quarter million total passengers going through the airport,” says Sprenger.
Sprenger believes the increase in travelers has to do with the growth of Southwest Montana.
“You know, it's been a very long progression of increases," says Sprenger. "I think much like the valley. We just are representation of everything that's happened here and continued growth.”
As the airport continues to become busier, Sprenger says they are doing several different expansions to keep it up and running smoothly.
“We're doing parking expansions, terminal expansions, baggage handling expansions, all to be able to accommodate the increase in passengers,” says Sprenger.
With these expansions comes more and more passenger traffic.
“Their biggest challenges are to keep ahead of it,” says Sprenger.
Southward doesn't expect her travel plans through this airport to change due to its growth and popularity.
“I just love Montana and love coming here. So I hope to be back again soon,” says Southworth.