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Off again, on again: Airport set to move forward with project cancelled by COVID

Last April, Boise Airport officials decided to order a ground stop for a large new employee parking garage. Now, more than a year later, the project is set to take off.

With air traffic levels declining and the airport going for a bustling place to a virtual ghost town, Boise Airport Business Development Manager told us last year they made the move to drop the project.

The project popped back on our radar screen after the City of Boise finally issued a building permit last month – the most valuable in the city for the month of July. The $15.42 million permit would allow construction of the 710 stall garage to start back up.

Three projects will begin to reshape the Boise Airport campus in coming years. BoiseDev graphic

“The employee garage project is getting ready to move forward again,” Briggs said this week. Airport officials have not yet set a construction timeline, and say they will put both the new employee garage as well as a new public parking garage up for bid together.

“Schedules for bidding and construction are anticipated to be set later this week,” he said.

The airport, which is operated by the City of Boise as a standalone enterprise fund, held the $15 million allocated to the garage back in its budget after holding off last year. However, according to the Idaho Press, the airport decided to sell bonds for the two garage projects due to low bond rates.

First steps in multi-year plan

Boise Airport employee parking
Rendering of a Boise Airport employee parking garage. Via CSHQA

The garages are the first steps in a series of moves to upgrade and expand the airport campus. In coming years, projects for a new concourse, upgraded security checkpoint, and more depend on reshuffling the airport campus and moving existing employee parking to the new garage along Wright St.

After hitting a lull during the early days of the pandemic, traffic began to surge back at the airport. In June, the most recent month with data available, 371,183 people got on or off a plane at the airport. That’s just shy of the level in 2019 when 372,540 folks used a plane at BOI – and far above 106,034 number in 2020 in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The airport added a flurry of new flights from coast to coast – everywhere from NYC to Austin to Moscow-Pullman to a smaller airport in Seattle.

Don Day - BoiseDev editor
Don is the founder and publisher of BoiseDev. He is a National Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Stanford University John S. Knight Fellow. Contact him at [email protected].

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