Augusta Regional Airport officials hope to attract more airlines, expand terminal

The Augusta Regional Airport will be mapping out their future with some help from a FAA grant for $568,000.

"We're excited; we're excited to see this airport continue to grow like it has been. We have a lot of potential to get even larger and we'd like to see that happen," said Lauren Smith, the airport's communication manager.

The busiest year on the books for the Augusta Regional Airport was 2012 when they had more than half a million travelers.

Over the past 7 years airport traffic has increased 106%.

Since airport officials expect more passengers in the coming years, they will use the grant money to plan their next steps.

"We'll create a forecast for the next 15-20 years and with that we'll look at construction opportunities and other potential where the airport has to grow," Smith, said.

The airport sits on 1,400 acres so they have room to expand.

Although they won't be finished updating their master plan until 2015, they're starting to think about what tomorrow could look like.

"We're always trying to get more airlines and more direct service. We could possibly expand on the terminal, expand on the runways, it all depends on what this forecast shows for us," she said.

Before they can begin the planning process, the Aviation Commission has to accept the grant and the Augusta Commission will also have to approve it.