Overview of Expansion & Improvement Plan
Passenger traffic has consistently grown at unprecedented rates over the last five years at the St. John’s International Airport, with an annual growth rate of more than double the national average. There were close to 1.5 million passengers who passed through the airport in 2014. As a result of this passenger growth, a 10-year plan was announced in 2014 that includes an investment of $245 million into the airport to expand and enhance facilities in order to accommodate existing and anticipate future passenger traffic volumes. Two of the larger and most significant projects included in the Airport Improvement and Expansion Plan are:
The expansion of the Airport Terminal Building will be conducted in two phases: First phase: east expansion (2014 – 2018), approximately 145,000 square feet. Second phase: west expansion (2018 – 2021), approximately 72,000 square feet.
The first phase, the east expansion is underway and will be completed in 2018. This phase will add approximately 145,000 square feet to the three floors of the existing building and will significantly expand the range of passenger services, especially in the Departures Lounge. The west expansion will commence in 2018 and is expected to be completed in 2021. The focus of this 72,000 square foot expansion is on the arrivals area, with more baggage carousals being added, a further expansion to the Departures Lounge, three additional gates and passenger loading bridges, and an expanded Customs and Immigration area. Once complete, the total size of the Airport Terminal Building will be almost 400,000 square feet. The St. John’s International Airport plays a key role as the premier gateway to the province. We’re expanding our facility and services for the two million annual passengers anticipated by 2021. In doing so, we’re building a better YYT.
The Airfield Accessibility and Safety Initiative was a three-year infrastructure project that involved preparing the airfield for the installation and operation of a Category III Instrument Landing Systems (CAT III ILS) by NAV Canada. This technology allows aircraft to land and take-off in conditions of very low visibility; a weather challenge that has had an impact on our Airport’s operations and our region’s reputation for decades.
After its first full year of operation, the newly installed Category III Instrument Landing System (Cat 3 ILS) resulted in a significant improvement in the reliability of flight operations at the Airport. An estimated 920 flights that would have previously been impacted by low visibility conditions were able to operate on schedule as a result of this new system in 2016. While 2016 was less foggy than an average year, a total of 291 hours (or 12 days) in which the forward visibility was ¼ mile or less (CAT 3 ILS conditions) was recorded at St. John’s International Airport. All flights operating into and out of the Airport under these low visibility conditions (approximately 960) would have been delayed, diverted or cancelled prior to the installation of the new instrument landing systems. As a result of the new systems, less than 40 flights were impacted due to low visibility conditions in 2016.
St. John’s International is the only Canadian airport that serves less than 10 million passengers annually to employ this technology. This system will be transformational for our airport, and our reputation for being an inaccessible location will be reversed.
The following presentation provides an overview of the 10-Year Improvement and Expansion Plans: Expansion YYT. Building a Better Gateway