Boise Airport prepares to be reclassified, may lose some federal funds

Officials: Passenger growth soars at Boise Airport
Posted at 11:47 AM, Jun 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-23 13:47:04-04

BOISE, Idaho — The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has released preliminary passenger boarding data from 2020, showing the Boise Airport will be classified as a medium hub airport starting this fall.

A news release from BOI says the data shows it was the 61st busiest airport in 2020 with 992,342 people getting on or off a plane. For several years, passenger traffic at BOI has grown faster than the national average.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, passenger traffic at the airport grew 49% from 2014 to 2019. As a medium hub, the Boise Airport may receive less federal funding for airport improvement grants. The airport will also have more federal regulatory requirements related to passenger services, airline compensation plans and reporting requirements.

Related: Travel numbers down at Boise Airport compared to 2019

“The Boise Airport has been anticipating this reclassification, as we have been on the borderline between small and medium hub for quite some time,” said Boise Airport Director Rebecca Hupp. “The strong rebound in our passenger traffic throughout the pandemic helped push the airport over the threshold.”

In preparation, BOI is building a Service Animal Relief Area and Nursing Room, which will be located after the security checkpoint. Both items are needed for medium hub airports and are expected to be finished this August.

The FAA classifies airports based on their size relative to the overall national system. Airports that handle .25 to 1% of the country's annual commercial passenger enplanements are classified as medium hubs.