Two years ago, only cows occupied the hilly 922-acre expanse just outside Branson, Mo. But aggressive construction, including moving nearly 12 million cu yd of earth has transformed it into the nation’s first privately financed and operated commercial airport. Scheduled to open on May 8, the $155-million Branson Airport will serve eight million annual travelers. It includes a 7,140-ft-long, 150-ft-wide concrete runway, a 58,000-sq-ft, four-gate terminal and general aviation hangar facilities. AirTran and Sun Country will launch service on May 11.
“Being a private entity gives us more flexibility in pricing, [and the]ability to offer exclusivity arrangements with airlines and vendors and take advantage of other potential revenue streams,” says Steve Peet, CEO with developer-owner-operator Branson Airport LLC.