Reveling in the Years, Part 6


Ten years ago today the airport’s current terminal opened for business. To mark the occasion we’ve spent the past few weeks looking back at past terminals. Today we bring this series of posts to a close with the opening of the current terminal on May 6, 2009.

The current terminal's story began in 1967. That’s when the Airport’s Master Plan identified the building site. A master plan looks into the future and tries to predict what will happen at an airport. How many passengers will use it five years from now? In 10 years? In 30 years? What kind of improvements will an airport need to make and when? It is, in essence, a planning document for future growth, project planning and project spending.

The Master Plan was updated in 1977. Of the update's many observations, one stands out: the maximum capacity of the 1964 terminal was 880,000 total passengers a year. The update said when “that level of activity is attained, a new passenger terminal complex will be required.”

That number was reached and exceeded in 2005. Thanks to the Master Plan, the current terminal was already being designed and its finance plan was close to completion. New terminal construction began in 2006. When the building opened, on May 6, 2009, it was the end of a planning process that began 41 years before.

In selecting the photos in today’s post we tried to keep people in mind. Photographs are always better with people!

Hundreds of people had a hand in making the current terminal a reality: planners, architects, finance wizards, ironworkers, skilled workers, artisans, the list goes on and on …

When their work was done they had created more than just a building. They’d created a new front door to the community — the terminal is the first impression visitors have when they step off the plane. It’s a reflection of our spirit, culture, and economy.


Our airport's current terminal is ten years old today; it opened May 6, 2009.


April 21, 2008. Airport administrative staff tours the
construction site. They're walking through the lobby.


April 29, 2008.  Norris Cornell, superintendent of construction, chats
with a subcontractor. The photo was taken on the
west side of the terminal, looking southeast.


June 25, 2008. Ironworkers swing a jet bridge into place.


June 25, 2008. An ironworker nudges a jet bridge into place.
From this point, the bridge was welded to the terminal's structure.


May 12, 2008. Craftsmen begin hanging the terminal's shimmering
curtain wall (glass panels).
This photo is on the west side of the
terminal, looking up at the children's play area. Rove Coffee

is located to the left of the play area.


May 12, 2008. The curtain wall was like a
giant jigsaw puzzle — every panel had its place.


June 5, 2008. Pouring part of a wall on the west side
of the terminal, near what are now rental car offices; looking west.


July 15, 2008. This view is on the north end of
the terminal, taken from what would become the aircraft ramp.


April 3, 2019. Taken in the same spot as the
previous photo. Now you know how thick the concrete is.


The photo on the left was taken on February 17, 2009
as Artisans created the terrazzo floor.
The floor depicts
the four lakes of the White River Valley with map-like accuracy.
The lakes are outlined with brass — that's what the artisans are putting
down in the photo. Later on, epoxy was poured on the floor, along with real
river gravel. It was then sprinkled with mother of pearl to create a shimmering effect.

The second photo shows the scene today. It's not unusual to
see visitors trying to find their favorite fishing hole in the swirling detail.


April 2, 2009. The Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce holds
it's monthlybreakfast meeting in the almost finished lobby.


May 6, 2009. It's opening day. Civic leaders cut the blue ribbon.


June 25, 2009 The current terminal
during its first summer of operations.


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