Despite threats by Sun Country Airlines to shut down amid a labor dispute, Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport officials have approved a gate expansion at Terminal 2 for it and three other carriers.
The Metropolitan Airports Commission voted Monday to accept a $26 million bid from Knutson Construction Services to build three new gates at Terminal 2, also known as Humphrey.
The commission approved the project to support projected growth of 4 percent by 2016, according to airport officials. The 15-member panel considered the airline's threats to downsize or shut down before moving forward with the project.
"Sun Country has not asked us not to build the gates," Commission Chair Dan Boivin said. "If they were to go out of business tomorrow, we may put a halt on the project."
Sun Country has operated at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport for more than 33 years under different owners. Travel demand for the airline accounted for 1.7 million passengers last year and is up 17 percent over last year's first quarter, according to airport officials.
Three other airlines, Southwest, Icelandair and Condor Airlines, fly from the same terminal.
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