After delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the first phase of the terminal expansion at Kelowna International Airport (YLW) will start in 2023 with an inflated budget.
The original budget was $67.3 million, but recovering from the pandemic and inflation has driven the cost to $90.2 million, according to YLW’s 10-year capital plan going to city council Nov. 21.
Plans include the expansion of pre-board screening and the departures lounge. Phase 2 of the terminal expansion is to begin in 2029 and includes construction of the arrivals area at the south end of the building.
Parking fees at the airport will go up in January 2023, based on the annual Consumer Price Index increase.
The 10-year capital plan also outlines an expanded combined operations building, rehabilitation of runways, taxiways, and aprons, new firefighting, and snow-clearing equipment, and new runway and approach lighting. The lighting project will require the purchase of land north of Old Vernon Road.
Airport operations are also expected to be carbon neutral by 2030 and carbon net zero or net negative by 2040.
As well, the financial overview aims to maintain less than $40 million in outstanding debt and move towards a debt-free position in the next 10 years.
The report notes that YLW is the second fastest-recovering Canadian airport. Montreal is number one.