The Pitt Meadows Regional Airport has a new terminal among its many new and coming buildings.
Airport manager Guy Miller gave Maple Ridge city council an update on the recent happenings, including six projects in the works, on Tuesday. Maple Ridge operates the airport in partnership with the City of Pitt Meadows.
Four years ago, he said, the airport board embarked on an ambitious plan of renewal, and the new terminal building was the most ambitious aspect. It has now been in operation for about two months.
“It’s a fantastic structure for a community airport this size,” he said of the 45,000 square foot, two floor building.
Miller is in negotiations for an operator who will act as a type of concierge for jet and multi-engine aircraft – small and mid-sized business planes – to be based at the terminal.
The Joseph Richard Group restaurant chain, which is known for Stanley Park Brewpub and numerous Townhall pubs, will operate a new destination restaurant in the terminal.
“That’s a big step up for the airport and terminal building,” Miller told council.
The building has numerous beautification features, including a “sky bridge” walkway that links the east and west portions of the building, passing through a glassed main entryway.
He said moving into the new airport offices, after spending years working out of a terminal that was a group of trailers, is a “moral booster” for staff.
Another project is the Golden Ears Airpark, which is made up of seven large general aviation hangars, accessed off Baynes Road. The first building has been completed, which will house approximately 20 aircraft, and should be available for occupants in April.
“They’re already sold out, well into the fourth hangar, so it’s been a very successful project,” said Miller. “We’re quite excited about that as well.”
A third venture providing a new building is the Vancouver Aviation College, a company that has been operating in Lower Mainland, which has recently finished a 12,000 square foot flying school. It will provide flight training for some 40 students at a time.
In the coming year work will begin on the new Golden Arrow Airpark, which will be located near the Baynes Road entrance, with about 50,000 square feet of commercial hangar space. It will replace a number of old buildings that were taken down. The builder received a permit in March, and will begin construction soon.
Miller also anticipates the start of a new Sky Helicopters building this summer, with striking architecture offering the airport entrance a new look.
The airport board is also building park areas with seating and doing beautification on site.
Pacific Aircraft Services will build a 50,000 square foot hangar beside the terminal building, beginning this spring, and there will be other smaller hangars as well for businesses already at the airport.
Miller explained that the board’s future concept includes a Fraser River waterfront development which could include floatplane hangars, boutique retail and eateries, a seaplane terminal and restaurant, a pleasure craft marina, and floatplane docking area.
“I stress this is very much in the conceptual stage, but we’ve been talking about a development that really works for the community and works for the airport,” said Miller.
He said YPK is one of the top 15 airports in Canada for takeoff and landing numbers, and air traffic has returned to pre-COVID numbers.
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