It's long overdue.
That's our first impression of the plan for a new, $13 million terminal at the Williamsport Regional Airport in Montoursville.
An ambitious outline for a combined airport terminal and air traffic control tower just east of the existing terminal and tower was announced last week. Equally ambitious is a construction timetable with completion planned by the end of 2013.
Details on how the $13 million pricetag will be financed were not announced, but Williamsport Airport Authority Chairman Mark Murawski expressed confidence that the federal and state funding sources are readily available to pay the cost of the new terminal and tower.
The terminal is, quite frankly, antiquated.
It hardly gives the impression of a first-class air facility.
And that's exactly what we need the airport to become.
A new terminal and tower are only the start of that evolution.
The future needs to see more flights to and from more places coming into the airport for both private business and regular consumers.
There just aren't enough flight options at the airport right now. There has been talk of flights to the west and additional carriers operating out of the airport. To date, none of that talk has bloomed into a broader flight menu out of Montoursville.
Lycoming County is home to a burgeoning gas industry and varied business interests beyond that. It's a portfolio that, frankly, ought to result in a broader choice of flights out of the airport. Residents of this area, given its relatively rural location, make lots of long trips that ought to be able to support a broader flight selection.
If more choices were available, we're confident the airlines would be successful.
So, we've got a modernized facility in the works, but that should only be the start of making the airport a robust transportation hub for all of northcentral Pennsylvania.
More flights. To and from more places. And more activity.
That needs to be the future of the modernized Williamsport Regional Airport.