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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Airport Drive extension opens Tuesday, changing traffic pattern for parking, terminal

UPDATED: Mon., Aug. 23, 2021

 (Molly Quinn / The Spokesman-Review)
(Molly Quinn / The Spokesman-Review)

There’s a new fork in Airport Drive, and you will want to pay attention when you reach it.

To drop off and pick up passengers from the terminal, you’ll want to go right onto a new, 3,000-foot roadway that splits off just past Flint Road and near the Airport’s Cell Waiting Phone Lot.

To park, you’ll want to go left at the same spot.

And if you go the wrong way, you’ll have to make a big loop and try again, as vehicles on the new roadway will not be able to access any of the airport’s parking lots and motorists on the old Airport Drive won’t be able to access the curbside at the terminal buildings

Work on the $7.5 million project began last year.

While the change to Spokane International Airport’s longtime traffic pattern will officially begin at 9 a.m. Tuesday, work to rehab the pavement of the old Airport Drive route will continue over the next few weeks, according to a news release.

The plan to realign Airport Drive has been in airport officials’ sights at least since they released the Airport Master Plan in 2014.

That plan describes Airport Drive’s reconfiguration as an opportunity “to provide additional space for infill facility development, including parking, hotels, transit and rental car facilities.”

Todd Woodard, director of marketing and public affairs at Spokane International Airport, said those additions along Airport Drive’s new section will likely occur gradually.

“This is the first step,” he said, “and then the infill would occur over time.”

The traffic pattern change only affects vehicle traffic on inbound Airport Drive. Drivers exiting the airport will not be affected.

Work also recently wrapped up on another project at the airport.

The $8.2 million East Terminal Ramp Remain-Over-Night Aircraft Project poured 20,000-square yards of concrete to create approximately 4.5 acres on the tarmac for new overnight aircraft parking space.

The space will allow airlines to park up to five planes for various reasons, such as to service aircraft that would otherwise tie up a gate position and to stage additional aircraft for flights that are scheduled to operate at peak hours, according to Woodard.Ted McDermott can be reached at (509) 459-5405 or

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