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New baggage claim will improve Bellingham Airport experience.

Travelers flying in and out of the Bellingham international airport enjoy 11 different nonstop destinations. That's quite a switch from a decade ago when the only option was a flight to Sea Tac Airport. Now passengers can depart from Bellingham and land in multiple locations in Hawaii, California, Arizona and more.

Last month Frontier Airlines announced it was bringing its seasonal non-stop flights to Denver back again. Those daily flights will begin in May. Alaska Air's seasonal service to Portland will resume in June.

Although many of the people flying out of the Bellingham airport are Canadians, you'll also find a lot of your friends and been making use of the convenient flights to Hawaii and other sunny places this winter.

The Port knows that passengers enjoy all of the travel options. But we also recognize that the rapid growth has caused some travel headaches. The most frequent complaint is the baggage claim area, which gets" congested and has no easy way for people to get reunited with their luggage. Thankfully that's all changing next month when one new baggage carrousel and expanded baggage claim area opens. The second carrousel will open later this year, giving passengers over 5,000 square feet of new baggage claim space. The new area is part of a $38 million airport expansion aimed at better serving airport customers. Improving the baggage claim system has been a top priority with the terminal expansion that is underway.

The port also has been working to better coordinate with all of the different businesses--hotels, taxis, buses, shuttles--that deliver the people to the airport to make sure traffic in front of the airport continues to flow. New procedures and site improvements are being planned that should resolve those problems.

These investments are aimed at more than just creating a positive travel experience. They are part of the port's recognition of the countywide economic engine our local airport has become. Last year over 570,000 passengers flew out of the airport, generating nearly $8 million in revenue to the Port of Bellingham alone. About two thirds of that was from parking revenues.

And the financial benefits of the airport reach far beyond the boundaries of the Port itself.

Public and private airport construction projects have generated hundreds of high paying jobs. Plus businesses at and around the airport have expanded including airport restaurants, fuelers, mechanics and more. Recent estimates are that over 1,000 people now work in and around the airport.



Port Administrative Offices


1801 Roeder Ave.

Bellingham WA 98225



8:00 am-5:00 pm


Scott Walker, District One

Michael McAuley, District Two

Jim Jorgensen District Three


3 p.m. on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays

of the month. Agendas are on the

Port website.


Bellingham International Airport

Bellingham Cruise Terminal

Squalicum Harbor

Blaine Harbor

Fairhaven Marine Industrial Park

Bellwether on the Bay

Shipping Terminal

Airport Industrial Park

Sumas Industrial Park
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Title Annotation:PORT NEWS
Date:Mar 1, 2013
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