State, county and city officials broke ground for a new airport terminal at the Provo Municipal Airport Wednesday, Nov. 6. Utah politicians joined Provo Mayor Michelle Kaufusi in setting off a small explosion on the groundbreaking site, which erupted in red, white and blue smoke.
The multimillion-dollar project will add four gates to the Provo Airport, which will result in various benefits to the local economy.
Utah County Commissioner Chairman Bill Lee estimated the economic growth this project will generate will equal $300 million.
Kaufusi said this growth will happen as the construction and operation of the new terminal creates jobs in Provo and as the increase in flights supports local businesses.
“Provo City is taking flight,” Kaufusi said.
Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox said the growth isn’t limited to Provo as economic experts have been impressed by the steady economic growth throughout the state.
Investing in infrastructure, Cox said, is a sure way to maintain growth that future generations will continue to reap the benefits of.
“What’s happening today — what’s happening in Utah County — will be a game-changer for all of us,” Cox said.
Groundbreaking speakers also celebrated the convenience Utah County residents will enjoy at the airport because of the changes. A new terminal, according to Kaufusi, means shorter baggage and security lines, less crowded parking and lowered overall costs.
Provo Airport Manager Steve Gleason also noted that more flights leaving from the Provo airport will save more Utah County residents the drive to or from Salt Lake City.
“When you land in Provo, you realize you’re 15 minutes away from your bed,” he said.
This sentiment reflects Kaufusi’s primary hope with the terminal project: that it will increase the sense of community in the city.
“We want your Provo airport experience to mimic our Provo City slogan,” Kaufusi said. “‘Welcome home.’”