The Dane County Regional Airport (DCRA) on Tuesday opened the doors of the newly expanded South terminal to passengers after it completed the first part of a two-phase construction project. Crews from Miron Construction started the second phase and will demolish the old South wing of the terminal.
The county started the 90,000-square foot, $85 million expansion project in 2019 and included a family area, office space, children’s bathrooms, and a relief area for service animals, DCRA Director of Marketing and Communications Michael J. Riechers told The Daily Reporter. The new terminal goes “above and beyond” with amenities for domestic travelers, he added.
The old South end of the airport was closed and preparations for demolition began as the new expansion was opened, Riechers noted. The “old wing” of the terminal will be cut off to eliminate a choke point for planes parking in the apron.
Additionally, the county will build a total of six additional gates and three gates are operational now, Riechers said. The rest of the gates will open when the second phase of construction is completed, he added.
When crews knock down the old South wing of the terminal, they will remove three old gates, Riechers said. The airport will have a net gain of three gates, he added.
The expanded terminal has ample natural light from overhead skylights, and passengers can use modern amenities such as chargers, a family area and coworking office space. A map painted on the floor at the end of the terminal shows the Madison-area lakes in the true direction of where the airport is located.
The airport is transforming its perimeter road and Air National Guard areas as well. Waukesha-based Payne & Dolan will pulverize and replace a nine-mile perimeter road between airport terminals and Milwaukee-based KPH Construction will renovate a maintenance facility for three Lockheed Martin F-35 combat jets at Truax Field. The perimeter road project will cost $1.85 million.
DCRA is served by five commercial airlines and is used by private, commercial and military entities, officials said. More than a million passengers use the airport every year, officials added.