The Boise Airport is Secretly Helping Boise Grow and Become Accessible

It’s no secret that Idaho—especially the Boise area—is an amazing place to live, work, and play thanks to its friendly people, emerging job growth, access to the great outdoors, and a trendy vibe. One often overlooked feature is the Boise Airport, which carries people to and from our great city. While you may not initially think it helps Boise grow, it provides numerous benefits besides travel. And its reach across the country is growing too.

The Boise Airport (BOI) is not a major travel hub like Portland Airport (PDX) or Salt Lake City (SLC), but it is also larger than smaller municipal airports like the ones in Nampa, Caldwell, or Mountain Home. The Boise Airport serves 4 million people every year on 7 airlines. From Boise, you can fly nonstop to 20 major airports around the United States, as well as connecting flights to thousands of cities around the world. Here are the 20 large city nonstop destinations.

Providing growth opportunities

Another perk about the Boise Airport is that people get to see Boise and the entire Treasure Valley before they land. As we all know, first impressions are the most important part of an introduction. We hear from countless people about how beautiful the Boise area is when they come here for travel, job interviews, or when they move here. It’s easy to see why: a modern downtown area, sprawling suburban areas, tons of green (we are the City of Trees, after all), and the backdrop of the Boise foothills. When they land, they get to walk through the modern terminals before exiting into Boise proper. In fact, The Travel Channel ranked the Boise Airport as the #2 most relaxing airport in the country. Also, the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) selected the Boise Airport as "Airport of the Year" during its annual air safety forum in Washington D.C. The ALPA selected Boise because of its great safety record as well as its leadership always collecting feedback and data from pilots and aviation professionals to improve its service to the customers and airlines.

In 2019, the United Van Lines National Movers Study found that Idaho was the top destination for movers last year, with Oregon and Washington behind it. The largest source of interstate migrators are from California as the Pacific Northwest region is such a hotspot to live and travel. As the Boise Area continues to grow in popularity, jobs and people have followed. It stands to reason that a strong air travel presence helps foster that growth. There are plans to add extra parking and an addition to Terminal A to accommodate extra growth and business

Easy access to travel

Major city airports and international airports are like small cities that take a long time to get to and move around in. Chicago’s O’Hare, Denver International, and Dallas/Fort Worth International are massive tracts of land and buildings with shopping centers, subway stations, terminal-specific shuttles, and art galleries. The Boise Airport is right next to Interstate-84 at the Vista Avenue exit. From southeast Boise and downtown, you can get from home to the terminal in 10-15 minutes. From Meridian, Eagle, and Nampa, you can drive to the airport in 20-30 minutes. The parking structures have a generous number of parking spaces to accommodate long and short-term travelers, as well as those stopping in to pick up or drop off. Once inside, there are plenty of countertop check-in stations as well as self-serve kiosks to check in for your flight and print boarding passes and luggage tags.

This ease of access to travel helps the people of the Boise Metro area, but also the cities directly. The Regional Airline Associations' 2019 annual report stated that, nationwide, “570 airports in smaller communities drive $134 billion per year in economic activity for those communities, create a million jobs and generate $36 billion in wages and tax revenue." With "41% of scheduled passenger departures being serviced by regional airlines", it's clear that people use flights from smaller airports to get all around the country.

Even though the COVID-19 pandemic slowed airline travel for a short while, the Boise Airport has continued to serve passengers for their travel needs. In addition, the Idaho Statesman reported that the Boise Airport has added more flight destinations for travelers. Here is what was added since March 2020, as well as what new flight destinations are coming soon:

  • Twice-daily flights to Los Angeles on Alaska Airlines
  • Additional daily flight to San Diego on Alaska Airlines 
  • Twice-daily flights to San Francisco on Alaska Airlines
  • Daily flights to Everett, Washington on Alaska Airlines
  • More weekday flights to San Diego, San Jose, and Sacramento on Southwest Airlines
  • Additional Saturday and Sunday flights to Phoenix on Southwest Airlines
  • Daily flight to Atlanta, GA on Delta Airlines. This is now the farthest east nonstop flight from Boise.

While people and jobs are the main contributors of growth for the Boise area, the important function of bringing people to our amazing city safely and on time belongs to the Boise airport. More information about what makes Boise such a great place to move to can be found on our Boise, Idaho page.

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