Canada's Kelowna International Airport has unveiled major plans of investing approximately $55.6m in various construction projects as it nears its maximum capacity.
While the airport was expected to receive 1.6 million passengers in 2015, it reached that number last year.
Kelowna Now reported that the airport would invest in enhancing the departure lounge, building a new airport plaza and expanding the outbound baggage hall and aircraft apron.
The expansion will be funded by $15 airport improvement fee, which will be included in the tickets of all departing passengers.
The airport's advisory committee had created the Master Plan 2025 in 2006. The implementation of the complete plan is expected to cost approximately $150m.
The airport's single runway has since been expanded to 8,900ft (2,700m). There are further plans to expand it to 10,000ft (3,000m) by 2025.
The expansion of the departure lounge will be carried out in phases, with the first phase to include complete remodeling of the west side of the lounge. The airport will build skylights, modern seating, a wine bar and new food kiosks in subsequent stages that would be carried out in the next two years.
The construction of the airport plaza will be carried out in partnership with PatAIRa Holdings and will feature an ESSO gas station and convenience store. The second phase construction of a new car wash and detailing bay will begin in 2016.
With the baggage hall expansion, the airport will be able to almost double the number of bags handled an hour. It will feature an indoor drive-thru for baggage cars so that bags are not left outside in the elements, particularly in the colder months.
The project will see renovation of airline offices from 2016 to 2017, and from 2017 to 2018, the check-in area will get a complete makeover, which will enable passengers to use automated tellers for the baggage drop-off.
Airport development manager Phillip Elchitz was quoted by Global News as saying: "You'll be able to check in at a self-service kiosk, get your bag tag printed, put it on your bag and actually self drop that onto the belt, which will allow you to process completely without having to deal with an airline agent."
Under the aircraft apron expansion, the airport will repair and expand the taxi lane, and its parking will get two new Code C Operational Stands.
Image: The airport will expand its departure lounge through the next three years. Photo: courtesy of Ktown via Wikipedia.