The Missoula International Airport is expected to open their first phase of their new terminal in 2021, but there’s a lot of work to be done before then. Airport Director Chris Jensen was happy this week when the FAA announced a grant for the project.

"Obviously we have kind of hit the capacity of our terminal building," Jenson said. "We have had a terminal project in the works for a while. We are happy to report that the FAA granted us a fairly substantial sum of money towards that project this week. Work is underway and that contributes significantly towards our project."

Jenson says the amount is even higher than had been expected.

"The total project cost is estimated at about $67 million right now," Jenson said. "This first grant, and hopefully it is the first of a number of grants, was for about $8.7 million. Initially we thought the amount was going to be less. It started at about $4.6 million. Then the FAA said they thought they had $5 million and then as of this week it moved to $8.7 million."

Jenson says the first phase includes four new gates, a new security checkpoint, new ticket counters, and a new concession space. Jensen says that if the project is able to come in under budget there may be potential for more updates in the near future.