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Officials highlight future improvements at Palm Springs International Airport

There are changes underway at the Palm Springs International Airport, and officials say they are possible because of federal funding.

Congressman Dr. Raul Ruiz toured the airport with PSP executive director Harry Barrett and Palm Springs Councilmember Dennis Woods.

They talked about improvements to be made at the airport with the $17.2 million in federal funding. The money comes from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Package and the American Rescue Plan.

Ruiz's office tells News Channel 3 that the funding is being used to help "strengthen airport infrastructure, improve travel efficiency, and keep vital operations running."

"We're seeing tremendous growth in flights, which is good because tourism is one of our top three economies," said Ruiz. "It's going to expand capacity, improve safety, as well as baggage claim processing."

In December 2021, PSP set its 7th passenger record for that year with 276,527 total passengers. It surpassed the previous record in 2018. 

"It's about passenger experience, it's about growth, it's about developing the economy so that we can make sure that you know we have a robust economy," said Barrett. "In the immediate future, we're looking to do some expansion of our baggage claim area as well as the expansion of our restrooms. We have a restroom capacity issue right now."

Some long-term changes include expansion to TSA checkpoints so fliers can get through faster. And recently, the airport has been getting larger planes flying in. 

"And we need to address that through potentially some kind of construction project to expand the terminals so that they can accommodate those aircraft and the number of passengers that come through the facility each year," said Barrett. "Palm Springs is a great place to come to, and people are going to want a quality experience coming through their airport facility and we hope to provide that"

New carpeting along with expansions to the airport restrooms will start in October. The timeline for other major renovations has yet to be set.  

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Marian Bouchot

Marian Bouchot is the weekend morning anchor and a reporter for KESQ News Channel 3. Learn more about Marian here.

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