Durbin Celebrates opening of New Terminal at Peoria International Airport

[PEORIA, IL] – The completion of construction on a new terminal at Peoria International Airport will create more capacity for commercial passenger airplanes, lower wait times for baggage, expand space for vendors, enhance security and provide the airport with the ability to handle one million passengers per year, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) said today. Durbin joined Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood and other federal and local elected officials at the ribbon cutting ceremony celebrating the terminal’s opening. Durbin secured $950,000 in the fiscal year 2009 Omnibus Appropriations Act for the terminal construction project, which also received a $6.3 million grant through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which Durbin supported.

“The Peoria International Airport is a critical transportation link for central Illinois,” said Durbin. “The completion of this new terminal, which is partially federally funded, puts the Peoria Airport in the position to serve travelers safely, securely, and efficiently for many decades to come.

Peoria International Airport is a public airport southwest of Peoria that provides non-stop commercial air service to various locations. The newly completed 125,000-square-foot facility will be able to service approximately one million passengers annually through 12 gates. In order to increase convenience and efficiency, ticket windows, gate areas, baggage claim and rental car desks are now all located on one floor in the main concourse. The new terminal will also have more efficient climate control systems, more effective fire and safety systems, and more streamlined security processes and equipment.

Construction on the terminal began in November 2008. If the project had not been undertaken, the cost of operating and maintaining the old terminal would have skyrocketed, due in part to the age of the systems at the previous terminal, which were so old that they could not be replaced off-the-shelf, but had to be made from scratch. The total cost of building the new terminal was $65 million, which included $19 million through the Federal Aviation Administration. At its peak, the project employed 120 workers, although many more worked on the project at different times.