Mona Shield Payne / Special to the Sun
Tuesday, March 24, 2009 | 12:14 p.m.
Papillon Airways dedicated a $9 million terminal at the Boulder City Municipal Airport on Monday with champagne, prayers and a polka band.
Papillon owns Grand Canyon Airlines, which in the 1930s built the first terminal at the city's first airport, said Elling Halverson, the company's chairman of the board. Grand Canyon Airlines moved from Boulder City later in the 1930s and came back in 2005.
Papillon also runs three other air tour companies, Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters, Scenic Airlines and Canyon Flight Trading Co., from the new 30,000 square-foot building, the Boulder City Aerocenter.
The terminal, made largely of brick and glass, hosts passengers for check-in, and a large lobby gives a view of departing and landing flights. At the top of the building, employees monitor helicopter and airplane action from a control tower.
Every year, the tour companies fly about 100,000 passengers to the Grand Canyon in 15 helicopters and 16 airplanes from Boulder City.
At the grand opening, a crowd of about 350 watched Mayor Roger Tobler cut a red ribbon as helicopters flew overhead.
Grace Community Church's pastor, David Graham, prayed for safety and success at the airport.
Brenda Halverson, president and CEO of Papillon, said the new terminal would enhance tourists' experience. "It's something we're proud to show off," she said.
Cassie Tomlin can be reached at 948-2073 or firstname.lastname@example.org.