Bellingham’s Airport Expansion: A Smart Move
The real reason Bellingham’s airport has become such a going concern boils down to money. Airlines pay a per passenger fee. SeaTac’s fee is $18. Vancouver’s fee is $14. Bellingham is $2.50. That price has made Bellingham the cheapest airport in the US according to Cheapflights.com.
Right now the airport is 26,000 square feet. Over 100,000 square feet will be added to accommodate Bellingham’s huge increase in customer traffic which is up over 500% in seven years. The airport now serves over 400,000 passengers a year.
The first phase has begun and is adding 20,000 square feet which will add more seats to the gate area. The next phase will add 80,000 square feet. When completed there will be 5 gates, expanded ticketing, security and a real baggage claim. Additional parking areas will also be added.
Bellingham’s cheap flights have attracted passengers from Canada who account for about 40% of traffic. Right now we have north/south flights. The airport has interest from other airlines and wants to include east/west flights, but until the expansion is completed, they just can’t be accommodated.
For local residents, being able to fly directly from Bellingham is a huge advantage. You can be in Las Vegas, San Francisco or Phoenix in about the same time it would have taken to drive to SeaTac.