UniSource Energy Services gas crews helped clear the way for a major expansion of the Prescott Regional Airport, facilitating economic development in Northern Arizona.

The airport has evolved into a major economic engine in the region, becoming the fastest growing commercial airport in the state last year and earning the Arizona Department of Transportation’s Airport of the Year Award in 2020.

“This is great for tourism and provides opportunities for commercial growth in our area. We are happy to be part of this project that is so important for our community’s future,” said Teresa Inman, Prescott District Manager for UniSource.

Earlier this year, UniSource construction and maintenance crews relocated gas lines along the airport runway to prepare the property for the expansion of new, longer runways to accommodate larger commercial jets. The project took about two weeks in January.

Previously, UniSource crews moved and installed gas lines for the new 18,000-square-foot passenger terminal. An opening ceremony was held in late March.

“We have worked closely with the City of Prescott to ensure the project was completed on time,” said Jeff Brown, Supervisor of Construction and Maintenance.

Replacing a terminal that was built in the 1940s, the new, $13.9 million terminal is expected to handle 18,000 passengers annually, according to International Airport Review.

United Express, operated by SkyWest Airlines, provides commercial air service from Prescott to Denver and Los Angeles. Earlier this year, Boutique Air began providing flights to Phoenix, connecting Northern Arizona communities with quick access to flights out of Phoenix.

In addition to bringing in tourism and business travelers, the airport expansion is expected to draw more companies and businesses to move or expand in the area, which is already experiencing strong residential growth.

UniSource crews regularly support planners from public entities and private developers by moving or expanding lines or upgrading existing facilities.

Over the last few years, UniSource assisted with public improvement projects throughout Yavapai County, including downtown Prescott. Despite the pandemic, crews have stayed busy as developers have continued building new and expanded projects, especially housing developments.

“We’re excited that our partnership supports such a wide range of developments, which make such a big impact on our community,” Brown said.

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