In just over a year, the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport has seen the announcements of eight new projects and more than $80 million worth of estimated investment that will modernize the facility.
Some of the highlights will be a new riverside seaplane terminal and a fly-in riverside restaurant building, a new terminal building, a massive expansion by local company Sky Helicopters and a new helicopter park.
Airport manager Guy Miller noted the projects are in various stages of approval, so the public will see it happening in stages.
Fill was just brought in for a helipad, for example.
Soon airport administrative staff will be moving so work on the new terminal can begin.
“It’s moving from a really aged airport, where a lot of buildings were built a long time ago, to where there is confidence and investment,” said Pitt Meadows Mayor Bill Dingwall.
Miller has said the vision of the airport board is not to have large passenger jets fly into the airport, but for it to attract more light twin-engine planes and occasional business jets.
The seaplane terminal and restaurant will be built by GME Global Management, and Harbour Air will operate the terminal.
There will be a walkway from the floatplane dock to the terminal and Thirsty Goose Restaurant.
Richmond-based Harbour Air has daily, frequently scheduled flights between Vancouver and the Lower Mainland, Gulf Islands, Sunshine Coast and Whistler.
Miller said the Thirsty Goose has been a popular feature and is being designed to attract riders on horseback and bikers using the riverside trail system.
Sky Helicopters will build a modern-looking, 20,000-sq.-ft. building for helicopter and business jet storage, studio rental and office space.
Sky also plans to add a new Coastal Drones subsidiary business, which works with the film industry and other opportunities in the rapidly growing drone business.
The heli-park will be constructed in the northwest corner of the property and will bring aircraft in for maintenance in repair.
It will consist of five buildings, each 55,000 sq. ft.
Fly Guy aviation is also investing at the airport – building 20,000 sq. ft. for aircraft storage, and another 12,000 sq. ft. for office space and aviation-related businesses.
The airport society approved a main terminal rebuild that will cost an estimated $8 million.
It will be built and operated by Pacific Aircraft Services, and airport staff will have offices there.
There will be 30,000 sq. ft. of space on two levels, and a 10,000 sq. ft. hangar.
Miller said the new terminal will replace five double-wide trailers that were put up almost 20 years ago.
Golden Arrow Properties will build a 48,000 sq. ft. commercial building and hangar, and Pacific Airport Services is building another 30,000 sq. ft. commercial hangar.
Hangar One aviation has received approval for a 20,000 sq. ft. hangar with attached office space.
During the summer, the airport also finished an apron rehabilitation, providing more space for aircraft parking with 20,000 sq. ft. of pavement. It also added night lighting.
Dingwall said the work is creating high-paying jobs in areas such as aircraft maintenance and in the tourism industry.