A new 5,050′ asphalt runway at Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport (KBZN) will help separate general aviation from the airport’s commercial traffic, creating a more efficient environment for transient aircraft operations and flight training.
According to Airport Director Brian Sprenger, the new runway was first envisioned in 1972. It was completed this year at a cost of $7 million, paid for through two years of Airport Improvement Program grants and 10% matching funds from the local airport authority.
KBZN serves as a home base for 31 companies with more than 700 employees. In the 2016 Economic Impact Study for Montana Airports, by the Montana Department of Transportation, both on-airport spending and spin-off economic impacts totaled approximately $750 million when the airport’s 2017 9% traffic increase is factored in.
“The community is very supportive of the airport and its contribution to the local economy,” Sprenger said. “The new runway will accommodate the growth that so often comes with strong business aviation operations.”
Of the 80,000 annual tower operations per year at KBZN, general aviation accounts for 80% of traffic, which includes heavy flight training use by the aviation program at Gallatin College.
“Our new runway will allow students to perform pattern work and practice approaches independent of the commercial traffic being handled on the main runway, thereby increasing training efficiency and lowering the overall cost of flight training,” Sprenger said.