Helena Regional Airport Terminal Expansion

Project overview

For over five decades CWG has worked with the Helena Regional Airport (HRA) to modify their buildings to adapt to continual changes. To keep up with the airlines transitioning to larger aircrafts and the 23% passenger increase over the last 6 years, HRA identified a need to expand and remodel its terminal as of part their master plan. The main goal was to ensure passengers would be safe and comfortable from the time they began screening up until they boarded their planes. The addition also provides a welcoming impression of Helena for incoming passengers.


  • Airport planner, Price Simpson Harvey, developed a long-range master plan for the terminal building to accommodate future growth. CWG Architecture, Morrison-Maierle, and Dick Anderson Construction were brought into the planning process and were tasked with taking the master plan conceptual design through construction.
  • Since the remodel and addition were located within the secured side of the terminal, the project construction was broken into three phases to keep the airport, airlines, and TSA completely operational and secure throughout the two-year construction project.
  • The general contractor was included in the preliminary design phase to provide cost estimating and monitor budget.
  • Relocation of TSA security checkpoint allowed for 2 screening lanes with options for 3rd and 4th to be added as passenger numbers grow. The TSA screening area was designed to be secured after hours so that the screening lanes don’t need to be re-inspected daily.


The Helena Regional Airport was completed on schedule and within budget. The 20,000 square foot addition houses TSA passenger screening, four new airplane loading gates and includes a secured passenger waiting area with a restaurant and lounge. The interior space was dramatically modified for better circulation and function.  Clear signage and a single line of vision help passengers navigate through security with ease. Once on the secured floor, the spaces open design allows for a full view of all gates making each of them easy to identify. The second floor also features expansive glazing which provides amazing natural light and views to Helena’s South Hills. This project is a prime example of what a committed team who focuses on clear communication and collaboration can accomplish.

 “CWG Architects is an outstanding firm. From scoping, to design and ultimately throughout construction, they took a collaborative approach to make sure the needs of airport customers and employees were addressed right down to the smallest detail. They were a pleasure to work with and brought great expertise to ensure the final product was of high quality!”
—Jeff Wadekamper, Airport Director