Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport holds topping out ceremony

Airport’s newest terminal is still under construction, planned to be finished in December

JOSIAH PIKE, Evergreen news co-editor

Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport held its topping-out ceremony to celebrate the construction of its new terminal on May 31.

Tony Bean, Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport executive director, said the airport has been working on the terminal for almost a year and the topping out ceremony is meant to serve as a physical representation of the scene so far.

“The cool thing about the topping out is that it’s the last part of major structural steel that goes onto the building. The bones of the building as it were, you can see what it looks like,” Bean said. “That’s a pretty big milestone because it means it’s real now. It’s not something people can’t see.”

Bean said the ceremony was not very long and lasted only about 45 minutes. The ceremony also served as a celebration for their technical advisory committee.

“We had a technical advisory committee that was made up of people involved with both cities, both counties, the universities, our port district, our businesses that are here, our chambers and different people who came up with an idea for how the building should look like,” Bean said.

Another piece of the ceremony was the signing of the front beam for the terminal by those in attendance. Bean said members of the airport board, community members and representatives of different business entities were among those in attendance for the event.

Pullman Mayor Glenn Johnson also attended the ceremony. He said the ceremony is a celebration meant to highlight the local community coming together.

Johnson said he believes there were about 70 people in attendance at the event. Part of the reason for this is because there was a limit to the number of people who could attend as not to overcrowd the site.

In addition, members of the construction crew who built the terminal signed the front beam, Bean said. This terminal is a source of pride for the contractors, he said.

With the bones of the building built, the next step in the process will be working on the interior. Bean said he noticed the contractors are starting to get decking on the top floor of the terminal.

“They’re pouring concrete in the lower level, where baggage is going to be handled,” he said. “When you walk in there, they’re laying out where walls are going to be downstairs.”

Bean said the new terminal is going to be about five times the size of the current structure and roughly 45,000 square feet total. It will also have more parking and boarding bridges, which is part of the reason it is noticeably larger than the current structure.

“It will have full concessions in it, meaning a restaurant. You will be able to get food and beverages on both sides,” he said. “We have to have a place to park airplanes, a place to do de-icing, a place to put support equipment … It’s 84 million dollars for the entire site, it’s everything, the building’s a portion of that.”

Bean said while they are aiming to be finished with construction by the end of the year, they believe they will be flying aircrafts out of the terminal by around February, giving them time to complete the required trainings.

“We plan for the ribbon cutting in December,” Johnson said. “There will be no limit to the amount of people who can attend that.”