Sky Harbor Airport opens new terminal for pilots and passengers

Sky Harbor Airport opens new terminal for pilots and passengers

There is no shortage of frequent flyers who love aviation in the Northland. The Duluth Airport Authority has unveiled its new terminal building at Sky Harbor Airport in Park Point. People who love flying and enjoy watching airplanes were invited to the opening.

Kevin O’Brien, chairman of the Duluth Airport Authority board, says the project took a little less than a year to complete, but with the help of local, state and federal aviation investment grants, the thrill of flying will continue to grow.

“This type of major infrastructure improvement is not easy. Without the skilled tradespeople in our area, projects like this would not be possible,” said O’Brien. “As a representative of the Airport Authority Board, I am extremely proud of these major improvements and the lasting value they will bring to Sky Harbor and DLH for future generations.”

Mike Hartell of the Minnesota Department of Transportation also says several state and federal grants were needed to complete the $2.5 million project within a year.

“I’ll just give you a quick overview of how much the money was. The total project was about $2.7 million. About $1.9 million of that is coming from the FAA,” Hartell said. “Then $520,000 came from the state airport fund and then the matching IIJ grant funds that were provided through the state process.”

Sky Harbor Airport is also a historic landmark. It was established at Park Point in the late 1930s. Duluth Airport Authority Executive Director Tom Werner says the public has perceived Sky Harbor Airport as an airport for “rich people.” However, he says the new terminal building will now be a more welcoming place for people.

“Sky Harbor has become a convenient gateway to the heart of Duluth’s tourism district. But its front entrance, the old terminal, did not make the best first impression,” Werner said. “The new terminal offers pilots modern, clean amenities. It is an inviting place to welcome visitors. We hope it will be a gateway that stimulates interest in aviation by connecting with our very vibrant aviation community.”

But what does the aviation community think about the changes at Sky Harbor Airport? Mayor Roger Reinert is one of many small plane pilots in the Duluth area. He said other pilots and he are excited to be able to take advantage of the new amenities.

“This terminal will now be another asset to our community of Park Point. It is a fantastic launch site,” said Mayor Reinert. Trust me, if you are a pilot and want to do crosswind takeoffs and landings, this is the place to do it.”

For more information on Sky Harbor Airport, click here. For more stories from Park Point, click here.