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Santa Fe Airport Breaks Ground On Expansion

Santa Fe officials broke ground on Tuesday for the long awaited expansion at Santa Fe Regional Airport.

The $21.5-million project includes expanding to 700 parking spaces for both long and short-term parking, public and commercial circulation areas, a cell phone waiting lane and bicycle and pedestrian facilities.

The existing terminal will be remodeled adding about 7,500 square feet. It will include an additional arrival and departure gate, an enlarged secure area, more restrooms and seating and a new baggage claim area in a portable building. 

Santa Fe Mayor Alan Webber says it’s been a long time coming and the airport needs the expansion to keep up with its growth.     

“A lot of good money, a lot of good work, a lot of design to make the airport grow and grow in a way that reflects our history (and) our tradition,” he said. “(We want to) make sure our historic building is preserved and protected and the customer experience is upgraded and improved.”

The current airport was originally opened in 1941. Webber says in 2011 it served 43,000 passengers. That number jumped to 283,000 in 2019 before COVID.

Airport Director Mark Baca says last year numbers were about 130,000 and growing.        

Funding for the project came from a partnership between the state and city, with both paying about half of the cost.

Santa Fe State Senator Nancy Rodriguez says she’s happy that we are finally seeing airport expansion become a reality.

“We’ve been wanting to expand the airport, improve it and just make it a better place for everyone and we’re getting there now,” she said. “We are continuing our venture to make it the best that it can be.”     

The construction is expected to be completed in January of 2023.

Plans for an additional $20-million in improvements are awaiting a funding source.          

Baca says future plans include additional expansion including a new TSA screening area, a restaurant and more passenger seating.