Salt Lake City International Airport has, shrewdly, decided to be proactive and prepare for the new surge of 2012 missionaries returning this year after the announcement of the lowered missionary age requirements.
“The number of missionaries in the field has increased 40% since 2012, that’s only two years, this means that if we don’t make changes, the return of missionaries and their crowds of welcomers could clog up our terminal to near pandemonium,” Adolf Hermlinger, Chief Head of Staff for the Salt Lake City TSA, said in an interview Friday.
The Architectural Board broke ground for construction of a new arrival wing of the airport last month called the Wing of Moroni. The new construction will add to the main terminal and baggage claims areas a sprawling two story receiving center for LDS missionaries and their eagerly waiting families.
“Our largest demographic here at the airport has become the young missionary, so we decided to dedicate an entire section of the airport directly to their return. The center will include a greeting dock, a Rec Center for homecoming parties stocked with root beer and vanilla ice cream, and the new Salt Lake City International Airport LDS Temple, for the return missionaries who want to streamline the process of their long awaited marriages,” Hermlinger said.
Walking out of the gate to the smiling faces of those who love him/her is a very special time in that missionary’s life, so the airport staff has banded together to create a familiar ambiance.
“We are already preparing the decorations, which are just as important as the facility itself. We have photos of local newlyweds on many of the tables and hand-made crafts on every wall. Most importantly is an enormous ‘A Proclamation to the World’ spanning the main hall. We want the boys and girls to feel as at-home as possible,” said Hermlinger.
Check your local Relief Societies and high schools for more information.