The $15 million Prescott Regional Airport Terminal (PRC) opened on March 30, with a formal ribbon-cutting commemorating the opening at 3 p.m. on March 31.
The 18,000-square-foot modern building replaces the Ernest A. Love Terminal, which was built 73 years ago.
More than 70 invited guests attended the ceremony where Kristi Miller, airport management analyst, introduced several city and community leaders who had key roles in bringing the new terminal to the community and Yavapai County.
Leading off was Prescott Mayor Greg Mengarelli. He reviewed the importance of an airport in Prescott history, noting that two pioneering ranch families – the Fains from Prescott Valley and the James family from Prescott – were key figures in giving land and support for the then primitive airport in the early days of the 1920s and thereafter.
Mengarelli noted PRC is now praised in Central and Northern Arizona for ushering in commercial air service, with daily non-stop flight service to Denver and to Los Angeles, operated by United Express carrier SkyWest Airlines. He also noted that twice-daily non-stop flights to and from Phoenix are now provided by Boutique Air.
SkyWest Airlines General Manager Kathy DeFreitas told QCBN that seeing the new terminal open was the proudest moment of her career in her 27 years at the Prescott airport.
Several other speakers, including representatives from United Express and Boutique Air, told those present they believed PRC will soon add more flights and destinations.
Airport Director Robin Sobotta said the terminal has the latest in sophisticated technology, including updated security processing, automated baggage handling, improved passenger queuing for loading and unloading, and facilities throughout the terminal for plug-ins and charging devices for passengers with electronic gear. “We even have an outside pet pit stop for our furry friends.”
She also noted that Prescott has received more than $26 million in federal and state grants in the past several years to help with construction. She expects grants to triple that amount in the next few years. “We’re considered an ‘essential air service,’ so we anticipate continued growth and expansion.” QCBN
By Ray Newton, QCBN
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