RAPID CITY, S.D. (KELO) — A groundbreaking announcement was held today at the Rapid City Regional Airport.

The airport will begin work on a new terminal expansion project which will provide additions and upgrades to the airport.

This terminal expansion has been in the works for seven years and is now becoming a reality.

“That involved numerous trips to Chicago, trips to Washington D.C. to meet with our delegation, to meet with the federal aviation administration, in an effort to gain funding for the project. To talk through the project with the FAA, with our delegation in an effort to gain support,” Rapid City Airport Director Patrick Dame said.

These efforts by the airport are to go along with the growth Rapid City has recently seen.

“This is a great example of that because you’re seeing the evidence of the kind of growth that we’re having in this community. It starts right here at this airport for our visitors as well as those who call this place home,” Mayor Jason Salamun said.

This groundbreaking terminal expansion is going to add an additional five planes that people will be able to depart from, expanding all the way up to 13 different departures this airport can handle at a time.

“This is something we can all agree with, we want better air service. As Patrick said, and he’s kind of educated me on, a lot of this work early on is stuff we may not see in the public, but actually will help us grow better in the future,” Mayor Salamun said.

Providing more space and upgrades is something the airport believes will increase efficiency.

“We’ve tried to break this into three main projects that are here. The first project will deal with what we consider the head house or this section of the building here. It’s more so where a lot of our folks are working,” Dame said.

Stages two and three look to expand on their terminals for the new departures and also grow the car rental facility to accommodate this growth.

This terminal expansion project looks to improve the environment and efficiency for both crews and those traveling.