The planned overhaul of the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport continues, now to include a fly-in riverside restaurant, and the public will be offered a preview on Wednesday night.
The airport board will be showing the public new projects including a rebuilt main terminal building, a new seaplane terminal and Thirsty Goose restaurant.
The plans will be unveiled to the public in detail at a meeting at the Sky Helicopters hangar at the airport (170-18799 Airport Way) at 7 p.m. There are also plans for a general aviation/commercial hangar facilities.
Airport manager Guy Miller said the restaurant on the banks of the Fraser River is a popular idea with everyone who hears about it.
The restaurant and seaplane terminal would be built on the Fraser River by GME Global Management Inc., at a cost of approximately $3-4 million, with construction in 2019 or 2020.
“It’s a perfect fit for the airport” he said, noting the Thirsty Goose would be patronized by people walking past on the paths beside the Fraser, and is being designed to attract riders on horseback and bikes, with additional trails to be cut.
“It will be a good tourist draw,” he said, adding pilots have been known to go out of their for places like I Fly for Pie in Chilliwack.
“It will be a great service to our community. I’m really looking forward to it.”
Harbour Air will operate its seaplane terminal in the same building, and Miller said that company is “a really important part of the future of this airport.”
There will be a walkway from the float plane dock to the terminal/restaurant building, similar to the Flying Beaver in Richmond, he said.
The main terminal rebuild would cost an estimated $8 million and could begin this year. It will be built and operated by Pacific Aircraft Services, but airport staff will have offices there. It would have 30,000 square feet of space on two levels, and a 10,000 square foot hangar.
Miller said the new terminal building is long overdue – at least that’s the impression he got from going through his desk when he was hired last summer.
“I looked through six or seven different plans that were here in my drawer,” he said. “It’s been in every business plan, and it never got done. It’s timely. It’s needed.
“It (the current terminal) is five double wide trailers that were put up 18 or 19 years ago.”
He said Pacific Aircraft Services is a reputable company with a solid history in airport development.
A new commercial building and hangar would offer 48,000 square feet for a building owned by Golden Arrow Properties, and cost an estimated $6 million, with construction to begin in 2019.
A second commercial hangar rebuild will be done by Pacific Airport Services, providing 30,000 square feet at a cost of $4 million.
These projects are in addition to four others announced last year, including a heli park, Sky Helicopters expansion hangar, Fly Guy Aviation hangar and main apron rehabilitation.
Miller reiterated that the goal is not to bring in more or bigger planes.
“There’s no intent for us to be bringing in 737s or any aircraft like that at all,” he said, noting the airport’s main business is light twin-engine planes and “the odd business jet.”
He said the airport board is near the final approval stage, but will first put its plans to the public.
“If all goes well we could see a number of these projects started before the end of the year.”