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Monroe Regional Airport's baggage claim building nearly complete

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MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - The Monroe Regional Airport's brand new terminal celebrates a one year milestone this week and yet to be finished is the baggage claim terminal.

Workers are hard at work readying the newest addition to the Monroe Regional Airport, the baggage claim building. Newly appointed airport director Ron Phillips took KNOE on an exclusive tour of the building, set to open this time next month. "Now we'll have a new baggage carousel where people can pick the bags up" said Phillips.

The building will house car rental kiosks, more bathrooms, and two luggage carousels. The director says once completed, the airport will be able to move out of the "construction growing pains phase", that it's experienced since the terminal's opening a year ago. "We've had our set of challenges but we've been able to overcome them" said Phillips.

John Neal, who traveled from Ruston to pick up his sister, says he's noticed the airport transformation. "It's a lot better than it used to be, a lot cleaner and a lot more room, parking's better now since they've finished the parking lot, overall it's very handy." said Neal. But Liza Kidd who was at the airport to pick up a friend, says while the changes are great on the surface, there is still room for improvements. "Not knowing which gate to use, I'd like to see more people that are there to help elderly or anybody to get more information" said Kidd.

Looking forward, Phillips says once the inside work is done, he wants to beautify the outside landscape, taking the airport to another level. "You know we want to move the airport from a good airport to a great airport and we've got quite a few people to make that possible" said Phillips.

A 7 million dollar renovation to the airport's main air strip is expected to be completed within the next couple of weeks.

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