$78M airport terminal opens in Duluth

Airport terminal dedication
Local, state and federal officials helped dedicate the new Duluth airport terminal on Friday, Jan. 11, 2013. From left to right are state Sen. Roger Reinert, former U.S. Rep. Jim Oberstar, Duluth Airport Authority Board Chairman Bob Pearson, Duluth Airport Executive Director Tom Werner, U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Lt. Gov. Yvonne Prettner Solon and U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan.
MPR Photo/Dan Kraker

A new $78 million airport terminal will open in Duluth on Monday after nearly 10 years of planning and construction. More than half the funding came from federal grants, with state and local dollars covering the rest.

The new building replaces a facility built in 1973 that no longer met post-9/11 security requirements.

Former U.S. Rep. Jim Oberstar, who helped secure $42 million in federal stimulus money for the airport, spoke at the dedication on Friday.

"The core significance of this terminal is that it assures the linkage of Duluth with the $1 trillion aviation sector of the nation's economy," Oberstar said.

Create a More Connected Minnesota

MPR News is your trusted resource for the news you need. With your support, MPR News brings accessible, courageous journalism and authentic conversation to everyone - free of paywalls and barriers. Your gift makes a difference.

The new terminal will be a key economic and business asset, said state Sen. Roger Reinert.

"I think we all know folks in the business community who will tell you how important it is that they be able to bring clients here in an easy, quick manner," Reinert said. "Also, as we grow businesses, it's incredibly important that they be able to send their folks out in an easy, quick and efficient manner."

$78 million terminal
Fog envelops the new $78 million Duluth airport terminal before the facility's grand opening dedication on Friday, Jan. 11, 2013. Planning and construction of the project took nearly a decade. The facility replaces a terminal built in 1973 that no longer meets federal security requirements.
MPR Photo/Dan Kraker

More than 300,000 passengers fly in and out of Duluth every year.

The 110,000-square-foot terminal has 40-foot-tall glass walls and a curved roof designed to resemble Lake Superior's waves. The waiting area can hold more than three times the number of passengers than the old concourse.

The first departure from the terminal is scheduled to be a flight to Chicago at 6 a.m. Monday.

• Follow Dan Kraker on Twitter: http://twitter.com/dankraker