Kelowna International Airport (YLW) passenger activity is forecast to grow to 1.6 million passengers by 2015.
To accommodate this growth the airport is putting in place a phased approach where construction will be triggered by passenger traffic demand. “If by 2011 we are ahead of schedule and passenger numbers are closer to 1.6 million then we expect we will move on these projects at a faster rate,” explains Sam Samaddar, Airport Director. “However if passenger numbers start to level out something like we are seeing this year, these projects will be completed as planned over the next five to six years. By having a phased approach to the construction we can trigger each component of the project based on actual passenger demand.”
The Drive to 1.6 Million program includes a new trans-boarder departures facility, upgrade to the outbound baggage system, new domestic arrivals and departures in the concourse which will take place between 2011 and 2016.
The order of magnitude cost estimated for these projects is budgeted at $50.5M and will be paid for through the Airport Improvement Fee (AIF). The AIF at Kelowna International is currently $10 per departing passenger and will increase to $12 in 2011 and to $15 per enplaned passenger effective January 1, 2013. Despite the increase, Kelowna Airport will continue to have one of the lowest AIF rates among Canadian airports.