Despite the economic devastation wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the particular damage sustained by the airline industry, the new projects at the Pitt Meadows Airport are expected to continue.
The one exception will be one of the most anticipated – a fly-in waterfront restaurant and seaplane terminal on the Fraser River, which was to be run by Harbour Air, will not go ahead as planned.
The Thirsty Goose, as it was dubbed, would have been popular with visitors and people from the city, said Mayor Bill Dingwall.
“They’re really interested in doing it, but COVID has changed the timing for a lot of people,” said Dingwall. “We’re hoping it’s not dead and gone.
Canada lost more than a million jobs in March, and aviation was a hard-hit sector of the economy. Air Canada cut 15,000 jobs, and 90 per cent of its flights that month.
“It’s really ugly right now,” airport manager Guy Miller said of the industry.
The air traffic at the always busy YPK was virtually cut in half from 12,000 to 13,000 movements per month to 6,000.
In 2018 and early 2019, Miller announced several new projects, which are still going ahead:
- A new $8 million main terminal building
- A new helicopter park, for maintenance and repair.
- A second Sky Helicopters building as the company expands.
- Fly Guy Aviation’s new hangar and office space
- Golden Arrow Properties’ new commercial building and hangar.
- Pacific Airport Services commercial hangar
“We’ve got wonderful projects in the pipeline, and most of them are going ahead,” said Miller.
Dingwall said the new terminal building is much anticipated, as it will replace a confluence of five double wide trailers that were assembled into a terminal about 20 years ago.
“It’s going to be a big asset,” he said, noting it will have office space for airport management staff, and a new restaurant.