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Western Canadian airports get billions in upgrades

Jean Sorensen
Western Canadian airports get billions in upgrades
Calgary International Airport is in the midst of a $2 billion terminal and runway expansion. -

Billions of dollars are being poured into upgrading airports in Western Canada as air travel increases. The work runs the gamut of improvements. It includes expanding cargo facilities and improving terminals as well as building new retail outlets. Many western Canadian contractors are benefiting from the work.

Here’s a rundown of some of the projects in place or expected to start soon.

Iqaluit International Airport

The new $300 million airport for the northern territory of Nunavut will replace the 1940s air force airport at Frobisher Bay.

Arctic Infrastructure Partners, formed by Bouygues Building Canada, InfraRed Capital Partners Limited, Sintra and Winnipeg Airport Authority developed the airport’s plan.

The project includes a new airport building, aprons for planes to park, lighting systems, runways, and a new combined-services building. A joint-venture between Bouygues and Sintra is doing the construction; Stantec the engineering, EBA geotechnical and Partnerships BC has been retained to manage the project.  Construction started in June 2014 and completion is scheduled for September 2017.

Fort McMurray

International Airport

The airport is getting a $75.5 million expansion beginning in 2016.

In March, the federal government provided $25 million to the airport authority’s expansion project from its National Infrastructure Component of the New Building Canada Fund. The project will include an expansion of the main terminal building and north terminal apron, and an extension of the main runway. Two new general aviation taxiways will also be built, as well as an emergency crosswind runway. The local airport authority will assume responsibility for the remaining funding. SNC-Lavalin is project manager.

Kelowna Airport

Kelowna Airport Authority officials unveiled a $55.6 million multi-year expansion plan for the airport this year, which will see improved baggage handling, departure lounge check-in area, taxiway and plane parking area. The work will be carried out over five years and is part of the $92 million airport improvement plant started in 2008.

Calgary International Airport

The $2 billion dollar terminal and runway expansion will complete in early 2016.

The Airport Development Program consists of a $1.4 billion concourse that will stand five stories high and cover two million square feet that will be home for the airport’s international traffic and also house a Delta hotel property, new retail shops and 22 new gateways.

EllisDon is the construction manager for the international facilities project.

The remaining $600,000 is for a new runway that will be 14,000 feet long and 200 feet wide. Although YYC currently boasts one of Canada’s longer runways, the new Code F runway is designed to accommodate the largest aircraft currently in production.

The new terminal will not open until fall 2016 to allow retail outlets to move in after construction.

Terrace’s Northwest Regional Airport

It is winding down its $15 million expansion of its terminal building with new and larger check-in and baggage drop facilities.

The expansion will add 1,534 square metres of new space and renovate 1,110 of existing space bringing the new terminal size to 4,101 square metres. The project is set to complete in 2016.

Brandon Municipal Airport

The $9 million municipal airport expansion is expected to start shortly as the terminal is being upgraded to handle increased traffic.

Prince George Airport

IDL Projects Inc. is constructing a 2,311 square metre multi-tenant cargo facility, which will house three tenants, 11 dock doors and four overhead doors. The first tenant moves into the new facility late 2105. The cost of the new cargo handling facility is $5.5 million.

Victoria Airport

The Victoria Airport Authority and developer Omicron have entered into an agreement to build a new retail centre Sidney Gateway, which will comprise 10 buildings over 7.5 acres including a grocery store, pharmacy, bank, and restaurants.

Construction is expected to start in 2016 and finish in 2017.

Powell River Municipal Airport

Council has applied for government funding for $2 million in much-needed improvements that would upgrade the terminal and extend the airport’s runway.

Vancouver International Airport

The McArthurGlen Vancouver Airport Outlet Mall opened this summer, the first phase consisting of 240,000 square feet of space for 80 retail shops. A second phase is slated to open in about two years.

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