Work on the roof of the Prince Rupert airport terminal got underway last week.

Upgrades to Prince Rupert airport terminal now underway

Upgrades at the Prince Rupert Airport (YPR) are moving along, with airfield improvements wrapping up last weekend.

Upgrades at the Prince Rupert Airport (YPR) are moving along, with airfield improvements wrapping up last weekend.

The Prince Rupert Airport Authority announced its plans to redo both the interior and exterior of the airport earlier this summer. Since then more than 6,000 feet of runway has been re-asphalted, with the crew finishing the runway at the beginning of the month.

Furthermore, the airport’s Instrument Landing System is now back in place.

While the runway apron and a taxiway were supposed to be done around the same time, YPR manager Richard Reed said a shortage of materials meant the crew was unable to finish the runway apron and a taxiway until this past weekend. But he’s pleased to say the task is done.

While it was initially included in the scope of work, the airport access road on Digby Island will no longer have its asphalt redone.

Reed said the City of Prince Rupert has offered to contribute up to $50,000 to repair some of the potholes on the roadway, but noted both the city and the Prince Rupert Airport Authority believe the access road needs to be addressed by the province.

“It requires a great deal of money, upwards of $2 million … it really is an issue to be solved by the province. We’re not going to put all of that money into it when we need to put the money into the terminal building and airfield,” he said.

And renovations to the terminal building are now underway, with the replacement of the roof being completed late last week.

“We’re moving right along [with the terminal building]. We’re progressing really well,” said Reed, adding the task of expanding the passenger holding room has started.

The first step of this will be to remove the front windows, then close off the expansion area so its foundation can be poured.

The first phase of YPR upgrades will be complete by the end of the year, which includes expanding and updating the hold room, relocating and updating the west side of the building where administration is and finishing the construction of brand new washrooms.

Reed noted that the $10 million spent on airfield work will remain in the community, as only local contractors were hired. He added a majority of the terminal work will be done by local groups, as well.

According to Reed, all of the upgrades to YPR will be done by summer 2015.