AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF)– Augusta Regional Airport could soon be getting bigger. A proposed expansion could mean more places for people to sit, more room for planes, and the airport executive director says it could even bring new airlines.

“What it would do is give us about 1800 square feet of existing seating space, but more importantly what it would do would allow the installation of two additional passenger boarding bridges,” airport executive director Herbert Judon said.

That means the east terminal would be enclosed so passengers getting off their flight don’t have to walk through a parking lot to get inside the airport.

“Right now those gates are not configured for passenger boarding bridges. They were just walk down gates,” Judon said. “There’s a portion on the east end of the terminal that ten years ago was made for propeller aircrafts so we had to ground board. Those propeller aircrafts are no longer in the fleet.”

Judon says enclosed boarding bridges would make the airport more attractive to new airline partners.

“It helps. It shows that the airport is configured and ready for growth. I think that sends a strong message to the airlines,” Judon said. “It’s a huge customer amenity. We would be prepared for new airlines and if we were to get new airlines their passengers would be able to use a bridge instead of go outside and be exposed to the elements.”

Judon says the building cost of the project would be roughly $2 million.

Thursday, the Augusta Aviation Commission heard the proposal for the first time, so there’s still a ways to go.

“What we’ll do now is we’ll take it to the airport construction committee and we’ll vet it and answer any questions and provide details. At that point we’ll do what we call a work authorization and probably task out our engineering contractor to start design and eventually put it put for bid,” Judon said.