Missoula International airport is celebrating after servicing a record number of passengers for the third year in a row. Deputy Airport Director Brian Ellestad explains.

"We had great news we are up 8.6 percent, three years in a row record" said Ellestad. "If you look back from 20 years we are almost double our amount of passengers through the terminal."

Airport officials expect 2017 numbers to get close to setting a record as well.

"We hope to be close to another record for the following year," Ellestad said. "No new airlines announced yet, but there are a lot of airlines starting earlier. Frontier is restarting in April and Allegiant is starting their season service earlier again in May. 2017 should be a good year as well. Even with our existing airlines, hopefully we can move smaller regional jets to a mainline service."

The airport is preparing for a major overhaul which begins this year. Ellestad says the design process will take about 18 months and then construction will begin. The current model of the airport dates back to the 1950’s.

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