Ribbon cutting

Local, state and federal officials participate in a ribbon cutting ceremony last month at the Falls International Airport. The ceremony celebrated the completion of Phase II of the airport terminal project.

The Bemidji office of Kraus-Anderson has completed construction of Phase II of the Falls International Airport in International Falls.

The Phase II construction cost of $5.3 million was a separately funded project and completes the full replacement of the 17,894-square-foot terminal building, and provides new space for U.S. Customs processing, a National Weather Service office, TSA offices and airport administration.

Phase I was completed in the fall of 2017 and included the replacement of approximately two-thirds of the old terminal designed by architecture, planning and interiors firm Alliiance. The $10 million project featured a new arrival and departure services with check-in ticketing counters and kiosks, secured gate lounge, baggage handling, passenger boarding bridge, TSA screening area, car rental services and public lobby/waiting area.

Phase II construction was completed on time despite of the challenges that crews faced during the brutal winter months with six feet of snow and temperatures reaching -46 degrees, according to a news release. Field crews also performed their work without disruption to airport and passenger operations and security of the existing Phase 1 terminal.

U.S. Customs provides services at INL, which is a designated international Port of Entry to the United States. Delta, operated by SkyWest Airlines, provides daily service to and from Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport.

The airport built its first runways in 1946 and added a terminal building in 1948, paving the way for the introduction of commercial air service in 1953. A new terminal building was built in 1979, which was dedicated by Vice President Walter Mondale. Following runway extensions over the years, the airport was re-designated in 2011 as Falls International Airport.

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