Bellingham International Airport is situated three miles northwest of Bellingham, right in Whatcom County, and is known as the third-largest commercial Airport in Washington.
Bellingham is very popular as a low-fare alternative airport to the Vancouver International Airport. Due to the most recent data, more than 65% of its customers come from Canada. The main reason for that is that it is located only 54 miles from downtown Vancouver and 23 miles from the Canadian border. For that reason, it is often referred to as Bellingham/Vancouver airport.
In 1936 Whatcom County obtained 200 acres of land in the area where Airport is currently located. Initially, it was planned to build three runways, but the process of building, clearing, and paving of only one track has continued for almost four years. At first, the Airport had to remain under the Port of Entry status. United Airlines would agree to have a base there, only if the field was safe for their DC-3s. Eventually, the terminal was built, and the Airport was dedicated in 1940.
In September 1946, the United States Army Air Forces closed the facility, and it slowly was returned to Whatcom County. Later, in the late 1940s, it was redeveloped as a civil airport. Whatcom sold the Airport to the Port of Bellingham for one dollar, since the rising costs and the need for repairs, in 1957.
The current terminal was built in two phases. The first was completed in 1980. In 2012, the second phase started due to the tremendous increase in passenger volumes. The arrival of new air carriers was another reason for expansion. The second phase was completed by 2015. As a result, the pre-security was expanded and was added another baggage carousel for arriving passengers.
Bellingham International Airport is known for its ease of travel, parking, the convenience of location, and frequent discount flight prices. BLI airport also serves this commercial, general aviation and corporate transportation needs of the region. Due to all of its benefits, the Airport has become a top-rated player in a transportation scene. As was mentioned earlier, due to the immense increase of travelers, Airport had to expand, and today it accommodates more than 300 000 travelers annually. In 2019 343 628 people flew out of Bellingham airport.