Public tours of new Ray LaHood International Terminal May 23

PEORIA, IL -- The public is invited to tour the new Ray LaHood International Terminal on Monday, May 23.

Tours will be from 9-11 a.m.; 1-4 p.m. and 5-7 p.m.

The $11 million Ray LaHood International Terminal includes a full-service Customs and Border Protection facility, as well as two additional dual-purpose gates for domestic or international travel. The cost of the 22,000-square-foot, two-story terminal will be covered by current passenger facility fees.

"We're excited to show the community our new terminal expansion," said Director of Airports Gene Olson. "I hope people take advantage of this opportunity because this is the only chance for them to see behind-the-scenes at our Customs facility. Once we commission the building, that area will be secured and no longer accessible."

This terminal is the first major addition since the General Wayne A. Downing Peoria International Airport's main terminal opened in April 2011. Since then, passenger records have been set for the past four years, with more than 640,000 passengers traveling through the airport in 2015, resulting in the need for more gate space.

"Initially, we need this space for our current flights so we can repair some of the old concrete near the main terminal. That construction project may take a year to complete," Olson said. "In the meantime, we are working to add additional U.S. Customs officers so we can attract international flights, most likely to Mexico or the Caribbean. Unfortunately, major hubs across the country also need more Customs officers so the competition is fierce.

"We know there's a lot of excitement out in the community for Peoria to add international flights. We're working hard toward that end. With some of the staffing hurdles, it may be more of a long-term goal."

The Ray LaHood International Terminal was dedicated April 12 in honor of the former U.S. Transportation Secretary and Congressman Ray LaHood.

Prior to his appointment as Transportation Secretary, LaHood, a Peoria native, served 14 years in Congress, representing the 18th Congressional District.

Current U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and FAA Administrator Michael Huerta attended the recent dedication.

"This is an airport that is transitioning itself to meet the needs of the traveling public in the 21st century," Huerta remarked at the event. "I really can't think of a better person to name this terminal for."

No reservations are needed for the public tours, but any questions can be directed to the airport at (309) 697-8272, ext. 100. There is limited handicapped parking near the new terminal. Additional parking is in the main lot, and there will be shuttles to the new terminal.

 

  • For information, contact:
  • Gene Olson, Director of Airports
  • Phone: 309-697-8272
  • Email: golson@flypia.com

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