Victoria Airport Authority President and CEO Geoff Dickson. (File)

Victoria Airport Authority President and CEO Geoff Dickson. (File)

Victoria airport to spend $19.4m on terminal expansion

Record passenger growth means YYJ needs to grow

Victoria’s airport has started work on a $19.4 million terminal expansion to help them keep up with growing passenger demand.

The Victoria Airport Authority (VAA) announced today (Feb. 20) that it will be working over the next 27 months to expand its lower passenger departure lounge. The project includes doubling the size of that lounge, creating dedicated aircraft gates and covered walkways. There will also be new washrooms and additional space for more retail and food services.

“The upsizing of aircraft from 30 to 50 seat Dash-8s to 76-80 seat Q400s combined with passenger growth has driven the need to expand our lower passenger departures lounge,” stated VAA President and CEO Geoff Dickson in a statement. “This is part of a multi-phase terminal and apron expansion plan.”

In its 2012 master plan documents, the VAA said over its 20-year planning period, “some facilities will easily handle demand and others are only sufficient.” It also mentions that facility expansion at the airport can adopt a “just in time phased development approach” to meet passenger demand. Over the last few years, the airport has been making improvements to parking, aircraft tarmac space and to its baggage handling area — all to keep up with increased passenger volumes.

The airport (YYJ) had a record increase in passngers in 2017 — at 1.93 million people going through the terminal. That was a reported 4.2 per cent jump over 2016. This year, YYJ is expecting to top the two million mark.

RELATED: Victoria’s airport has big economic impact on the region.

According to the VAA, work has started on the terminal expansion already. They report that travelers will see work in progress and temporary pathways to and from aircraft and regular construction activities.

“We will do our best to minimize inconvenience,” Dickson said.

— with files from the VAA