Growth Spurt AIRPORTS
Across Canada almost every major airport is in the throes of expanding. Vancouver -- ranked fifth best airport in the world by the IATA -- was one of the first to upgrade. It added a new international...
Across Canada almost every major airport is in the throes of expanding. Vancouver — ranked fifth best airport in the world by the IATA — was one of the first to upgrade. It added a new international terminal in 1996, and is already undergoing a $250 million expansion. The 1968 domestic terminal is being renovated, and Walter/SNC-Lavalin is designing and constructing a bridge over the Fraser River from Richmond as part of a $40 million “airport connector project” to provide better access to the terminal.
Edmonton has finished a $41 million parkade (see page 39) and has begun construction of a $131 million new terminal and apron southeast of the original building. Ottawa has spent $17 million since 1997 on improvements, and is requesting bids for $24 million to do engineering and architectural designs for a terminal expansion. The master plan calls for a program of $300 million. In November, Aeroports de Montral hired Decarel Verrault-Pomerleau Tecsult as project and construction managers of a major expansion to Dorval. On the eastern edge of the country, in St. John’s, Newfoundland, the airport authority got control in December 1998, and by July last year had started construction on a two-year, $23 million, project that will double the size of its terminal and expand the aircraft apron.
These upgrades are long overdue. Most of Canada’s airports were built during the 1960s and 70s, and while work on them has been ongoing, 30 years has left a big gap between what our increased population needs and what we have. In Edmonton, for example, the 1963 terminal was built to handle 2.5 million passengers a year. It now sees 3.8 million pass through its gates annually. Predictions are that by 2015 it will handle 5.8 million passengers. Pearson International in Toronto, the mother of all the airport renovations under way, is being rebuilt to the tune of an astonishing $4.4 billion. The 1964 Terminal 1 was built for 3.5 million passengers. The new terminal replacing it and Terminal 2 will handle 50 million passengers, besides the traffic already going through Terminal 3.