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Bangor airport will receive $14M for planned renovations, terminal expansion

US Diverted Plane
Bob Delong
FILE - In this May 18, 2005, file photo, a passenger jet lifts off from the runway at Bangor International Airport in Bangor, Maine. Recently an increasing number of flights from Europe have been diverted to BIA with passengers on the no-fly list.

The Bangor International Airport will use $14.2 million in federal funding to renovate and expand terminal buildings that date back to its days as a U.S. Air Force base in the late 1960s.

The renovations will give passengers more room near the gates and waiting areas, and they will create more space for travelers entering and leaving the security checkpoint.

"During some of those peak travel times during the day, those lines for Bangor especially — people are used to being able to get in and out of here very quickly — those lines can get a little bit long sometimes," said Aimee Thibodeau, the airport's marketing and business development manager. "But it will alleviate some of that congestion at that checkpoint."

The extra room is needed, she said, especially as more people return to air travel from the pandemic. About 600,000 travelers come through the Bangor airport during a typical year. Thibodeau said traffic is rebounding, and on some days this year, has broken records.

"We anticipate that at some point, yes, these numbers will sort of level off," she said. "But we're still seeing numbers higher than what we've seen in the last five years."

The funding comes from the bipartisan infrastructure law that Congress passed last year, Sen. Susan Collins said Thursday in a release announcing the new award.

"Bangor International Airport is an economic powerhouse that serves as a key gateway for visitors to Maine and connects the Bangor region to the world," Collins said in a statement. "The upgrades and expansions that this investment will support will enhance passengers’ overall experience and allow the airport to grow its operations."

The funding will also allow the airport to upgrade its heating, cooling and electrical systems, which Thibodeau said are necessary to keep up with evolving passenger boarding technology.

There is no timeline yet for construction to begin, she added.