The second phase of the terminal project set to undergo construction at Missoula Montana Airport received a boost on Thursday in the form of $11 million in federal support.

Sen. Jon Tester announced the funding, which stems from the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which he helped author.

Airport officials this week said prep work for Phase 2 will begin this week with asbestos abatement in what remains of the old terminal and a power disconnect. Demolition will begin next month, clearing the way for the new East Concourse.

“With more and more people flying in and out of Missoula every day, this new terminal will have a big impact on both the travel experience and our local economy,” Tester said in a statement.

The old terminal welcomed its last arrival on June 7, and the airport cut over to the new terminal the following day. The old terminal is antiquated and no longer suited to serve today’s mainline aircraft and larger passenger counts, which had set annual records up until the pandemic hit in 2019.

This year, however, airport officials expect passenger counts to return to pre-pandemic numbers. Had the new terminal not opened last month, it would have been difficult to push the high number of passengers through the facility, officials said.

“Americans deserve modern airports that meet the needs of their families and growing passenger demand," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. "Funded through President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, today’s grants will improve airport terminals while also creating good jobs in communities across the country,” 

The new facility only marks the first phase of what's anticipated as a three-phase project. Once finished, the new East Concourse will include two additional jet bridges, two ground boarding gates and two baggage carousels, along with car rental.

“Projects like this state-of-the-art upgrade for Missoula’s airport are at the heart of our bipartisan infrastructure law—making targeted investments that create local jobs and grow our economy well into the future.”

The Missoula County Airport Authority in March approved a $42.3 million agreement with Martel Construction to complete the East Concourse. Phase 1 cost roughly $68 million and was paid for through airport revenue and federal funding.

Tester said the latest funding round includes a total of $144 million for 69 airports in Montana including Logal International in Billings, Yellowstone International in Bozeman and Glacier Park International in Kalispell.

Funding when to dozens of smaller airports across the state as well.