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Airport renovations on time, on budget

Dorothy Westerman
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (July 27/05) - The $11.2 million renovation of the Yellowknife airport is running smoothly and on schedule, according to project manager Marvin Ringham.

NNSL photo

Marvin Ringham, manager of building and planning for the airports division of the Dept. of Transportation, stands at the ongoing construction at the Yellowknife airport.

The main terminal building, its south annex, the north aircraft parking apron, vehicle parking lot and airport frontage road are undergoing simultaneous renovations.

The GNWT will be responsible for $6.6 million of the cost, while the Canadian Air Transport Authority will fork over $4.6 million for the security equipment. The project will be complete in 2006.

Bob Kelly, manager of public affairs and communications with the Transportation department, said the territorial government's share will be recouped through fees.

"We will be increasing the landing and terminal fees over a number of years to cover our portion of the costs," Kelly said.

Work began in May. The annex renovations are already 99 per cent complete, Ringham said.

Paving of the north apron section is scheduled for late August and will be complete by October, Ringham said.

Within the terminal building, Ringham said the foundations are in place, the floor is poured and the roof will be in place this week.

"Then we start the installation of the baggage system."

By October, Ringham said all checked baggage will be diverted to a common area in the north end of the terminal for screening by explosives detection equipment.

The security equipment is being added in 89 airports across Canada, he said.

"There shouldn't be any lost luggage because we have to account for every bag that goes through the system."

Other renovations within the terminal building include a new inbound baggage claim device at the south end of the building, opposite the restaurant.

There also will be a rearrangement of the retail and car rental spaces.

The parking lot and frontage road will see a new "pay and display" system for advance payment for space.

Shuttle buses which once picked up passengers curbside will take them on in the parking area, he said.

Energy efficient upgrades to the terminal entrance will replace the sliding doors with two new revolving doors.