Montana driver licenses do not meet the federal “REAL ID” standards.  However, domestic travelers will not be required to meet those standards until October, 2020. Domestic travelers must have a new Montana REAL ID driver’s license or a passport for travel before October 1, 2020. For updated information on the REAL ID, visit TSA’s website or

Make sure you have all the proper documentation before your appointment, here.



In September Airport Officials along with a number of Helena community members are meeting with a number of airlines to explore possible air service additions to serve Helena. Air service development if an ongoing process and the airport communicates with airlines on a regular basis to maintain contact and update airlines on possible opportunities at the Helena Airport.

In order for a small community to gain additional service in today’s airline industry, some basic elements must be considered:

  • Affordable Cost to Operate  – Operating a commercial airport in today’s myriad of regulatory and operational requirements is costly. Helena Regional Airport has diversified its revenue sources to include a number of non-aeronautical revenue sources. This is critical to ensure that the costs the airlines pay to use the airport fits their business model. Like it or not, the airlines are for-profit businesses. The cost per passenger at the Helena Airport is under the national industry average and the second lowest of the commercial airports in Montana.
  • Sustainable Market – Helena’s central location is well suited to serving a large amount of the state, however, Helena is surrounded by larger communities that provide larger markets, so the competition among airports is a factor you cannot ignore. While it is an asset to be the State capital, there are 4 other state capitals with airports that have NO air service.
  •  Revenue Guarantees and Incentives – Airlines are placing the burden to mitigate the risk of entering new markets on the airport and their communities. Many communities around the country including many in Montana have been required to provide revenue guarantees over $1 Million to ensure new service is financially successful during the startup phase. One crucial fact about providing revenue guarantees is that the Airport itself legally cannot provide these funds due to federal regulations. These funds must be provided by other entities such as the community businesses and other users, so many communities have conducted fundraising campaigns to secure these financial incentive packages.
  • Capacity and Efficiency –  Airlines cannot operate unless the airport facility is suited to meet their needs. This includes terminal facilities, jet bridges for boarding, and airfield infrastructure such as runways, taxiways, air traffic control, navigational aids, fire protection, snow removal, etc… Helena is fortunate to have spent considerable time and money to ensure that the facility can meet their requirements. The current terminal expansion project will ensure that  adequate capacity exists to continue growing Helena’s air service opportunities. In the last 6 years passenger traffic at the Helena Regional Airport has grown 23%.

The Smokejumper Station Restaurant 

Hours of operation are:
Monday through Friday 10:30 am to 6:00 pm; Saturday 9:00 am to 5:00 pm; Sunday 9:00 am to 6:00 pm. View their lunch/dinner menu. Contact them for event planning and catering (406) 417-1965.