The new terminal at Barkley Regional Airport officially opened Thursday with a ribbon cutting ceremony attended by national, state and local dignitaries, as well as many of the people who helped the dream of a new airport terminal for the Purchase area become a reality. While Thursday’s opening made things “official”, flight began flying in and out of the terminal on June 28.

United States Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, Former United States Secretary of both Labor and Transportation Elaine Chao, United States Congressman James Comer, Kentucky Secretary of Transportation Jim Gray, McCracken County Judge-Executive Craig Clymer, Paducah Mayor George Bray, Paducah Chamber of Commerce Board Chair Brent Housman and Barkley Regional Airport Authority Board Chair Jay Matheny all gave remarks on the impact the new terminal will have on Western Kentucky and beyond. Although he was unable to attend, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear sent words of congratulations, as well, via a recorded video segment.

Below is a list of facts that help illustrate exactly what a “really big deal”, as described by Sen. McConnell Thursday, the new terminal is to the Purchase region.

  • Previous terminal opened in 1953
  • Planning and environmental reviews began in 2012
  • Design began early in 2020 with ground-breaking in Nov. of that year
  • Seven construction/equipment contracts spanning 32 months of construction
  • More than 200 skilled workers involved to construct the terminal building and exterior site improvements
  • Site Improvements
    •  Nearly 200,000 cubic yards of earthwork
    • 22,000 tons of aggregate base
    • 14,000 tons of asphalt pavement
    • 550 cubic yards of concrete
    • Over 10 miles of utility lines, drainage pipes, and conduits
  • New terminal is 25,100 square feet with modern amenities, accessible spaces for all passengers including two family restrooms, two Mothers’ rooms and a relief area for pets
  • Terminal design elements include materials, textures, and artwork reflecting the local community and culture
  • Funding
    • Total project cost of approximately $43 million
    • Nearly $33 million dollars from the FAA including funds from the “regular” Airport Improvement Program, the CARES Act and American Rescue Plan Act
    • $5 million from the Kentucky Department of Aviation
    • Over $5 million of local funding