Abbotsford airport expansion to double seating capacity

Two new gates to be added at YXX to deal with increasing passenger numbers

The terminal building at Abbotsford International Airport will see its seating capacity double once a major expansion is completed next year.

An official request for proposals (RFP) issued by the city last week includes a drawing showing a final concept for the project – the budget for which was pegged at between $5 million and $6 million earlier this year.

Airport general manager Parm Sidhu said the immediate focus is on expanding the shell of the current building, with interior improvements coming after.

The focus of the project will see the addition of two gates, to the airport’s existing three, and the doubling of seating capacity from 300 to about 600 people. The aim is to increase capacity as YXX accommodates more and more passengers.

“2016 was our busiest year to date and 2017 seems like it’s going to be even busier,” Sidhu said.

The final cost for the project will be determined after a selection of the winning proponent. Council will then vote on theexpenditure, which would likely come from the airport’s capital reserves, which stood at around $16 million earlier this year.

While preliminary drawings for the upgrade and expansion suggest a coffee kiosk could also be added to the departures area through a subsequent improvement, Sidhu said the immediate focus would be on improving the shell.

Its anticipated construction would begin next spring and wrap up by the end of October.