BLOOMINGTON, Minn. - KARE 11 News is getting a look inside the expansion at MSP International Airport's Terminal 2.
The $28 million additions includes four new gates, a lactation area for mothers and an indoor service animal relief area.
It's the first major upgrade to the terminal, which was built in 2002. In recent years, the number of flights and passengers coming and going from the terminal has drastically increased, as more low-cost carriers, such as Southwest and Sun Country grow service.
"We're on pace this year to break a record of 37 million people coming through MSP," said Melissa Scovronski, of Metropolitan Airports Commission.
More than 4 million people used Terminal 2 last year and in the first part of 2016, the number of passengers grew by 5.4%.
Also part of the addition is a green roof, which is part of the airport's mission to build sustainably and more pleasing to the eye.
"It's a lot nicer than having just a black roof or rock out there," said Chris Patraw, project manager for Kraus-Anderson, which is the contractor for the expansion.
The goal is to open the new gates on October 18.
“On day one Southwest Airlines will be here. They'll take up at least three gates during the day,” said Scovronski.
Starting next year, Southwest plans to add direct flights from MSP to Las Vegas starting in March and between March and May, service to Ft. Myers, Orlando and Tampa.
The extra space is part of a strategy to continue to lure JetBlue to MSP.
“Oh, we're always trying to get JetBlue here,” said Scovronski.
She says that may not happen for a couple more years, but the growth continues with a 5.4% jump in passengers during the first half of this year.
“In Minnesota we really do have a growing, healthy economy so people have more money for both business and leisure travel,” said Scovronski.
Projects are also happening at Terminal 1 including a new hotel, parking ramp, baggage and ticket areas and more than 50 new shops and restaurants.