After a year of juggling nearly a dozen major infrastructure projects that saw the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport get brand-new runways and a renovated cafe in the main terminal, general manager Guy Miller said they’re finally going to reach a major milestone in 2024.
“Once we have a couple more buildings down, every old building at the airport will be taken down and replaced with either a lease or a potential lease,” explained Miller.
“We’ll be completely up-to-date with all of our infrastructure and can grow the airport with the kind of business that we want and achieve the modernity we’re looking for.”
But before the airport can reach this stage, there are still a couple of aged facilities that require attention, including the Command Aviation building, which Miller said is a big project on their 2024 to-do list.
“The building has been here a long time, about 40 or 50 years, and has served its purpose well. But we are going to take that facility down now because it’s time,” said Miller.
“Once it’s down, the hope is that we’re going to be moving forward with the new development, which has been approved by our board and looked at by the city. It will be an airpark with 10 units at the front that will be light industrial and airport support services, and a big hangar at the back, which will serve executive aircraft.”
The new year will also see the replacement of an aged 60-hangar facility.
“Along Baynes Road, we have an old hangar, which we’re tearing down by the end of this year and the whole lot will be cleaned up so we can put up an L-shaped fuel hangar, which is going to be quite nice.”
While the final outdated buildings get removed, Miller explained that the airport will also be looking at building its small-business customer base.
“One of the big things we really want to move towards is getting more small business,” he said. “When I say ‘small business’ I’m talking 10 to 40 employees.”
“We have some really good ones already, but our goal is to see growth in the small-business commercial aviation business at the airport. We’d like to see that footprint increase to add another six to 10 small businesses here over the next few years.”
One way that Miller plans to accomplish this is by investing more resources into beautifying the airport and its surrounding facilities.
“In 2024, we’re going to be paving the road going into the float dock. There’s a little seating and picnic area in there that we want to make more accessible to people walking along the dike. It’ll be clean and nice, so that’s going to be a big project for us next year.”
“We’re also still moving along with the waterfront project, which we’re quite excited about. That’s going to have boardwalk-style boutique retail eateries, microbreweries, green spaces, vehicle parking, seaplane terminal, and restaurants.”
All of this work will feed into the bigger picture that the airport is trying to achieve.
“We’re really trying to beautify the airport to make it an attractive destination,” explained Miller. “Not just for people to fly into, but also to get the businesses here and make them want to come and settle here in this region and put up a hangar and have 40 employees who can live here in this great community.”
He would also like to see the airport expand on some of the entertainment that it offered to the public this year, including Airport Day, which was held back in June for the first time in four years due to the pandemic.
“We were happy with Airport Day, but we’re going to expand on that and try to build some momentum on it by doing it every year,” said Miller.
“I don’t think we’ll go to a full air show, but we will look at some more static aircraft events like parachute jumpers and things like that to bring some more excitement into it but will keep it family-centric.”