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New Springfield/Branson National Airport Terminal Opens

Travelers heading to the airport this morning for their early flight to Atlanta were the first to take off from the new terminal at the Springfield/Branson National Airport. KSMU’s Kristian Kriner reports.

Several flights left this morning headed to destinations such as Atlanta, Chicago and Dallas.

Kent Boyd, airport spokesman, says airport officials were worried there would be major mechanical problems, but they only had minor glitches.

“I think thus far I’m really, really pleased that we haven’t had a major operational blow-up. Everything seems to be operating fairly smoothly. Most of the customers have found the place. All the airlines seem to be processing the customers well at the ticket counters and everybody seems to be finding their way to the gate area, so except for the minor issues everything seems to be going pretty well and that’s something to be happy about,” Boyd said.

Boyd said that by six a.m., there had already been about 50 passengers who went to the old terminal for their flights, but they eventually found their way to the new building.

One business traveler, John Kennedy, who was headed back to Minneapolis, said he was impressed with the architecture and extra space in the new terminal.

Kennedy said the new terminal is less crowded and easier to get around in than the old terminal was.

“We didn’t realize that we were the first departures here and it’s exciting. It’s pretty neat, so we’ll certainly remember it and it is an asset for the community here. It’s a gorgeous, gorgeous airport and it’s very easy to get in and out of. It’s a quite nice,” Kennedy said.

Some people at the new terminal this morning were merely dropping family members off.

Annette LeValley was saying goodbye to her brother, who came to Springfield for a visit.

She travels a lot and she believes the new terminal will make her plane rides much easier and faster.

“It’s huge. Of course we just walked in so I really haven’t seen too much of it, but we’ll walk around once he gets on the airplane and check it out. It’s beautiful and nice looking. I like the way they got the gift shop and a snack bar over there,” LeValley said.

LeValley added that she did have trouble finding the new terminal, but she says once she gets used to it, she doesn’t expect any problems.

The first plane that landed at the new airport was a flight from the Chicago-O’Hare Airport.

For KSMU News, I’m Kristian Kriner.