August 27, 2018 | The Smithers Regional Airport officially opened their new departure lounge, the most visible aspect of the Smithers Regional Airport Terminal Modernization Project.
The new departure lounge seats 118 passengers allowing larger planes or multiple planes to utilize the airport facilities. There are new fully accessible washrooms in the departure lounge and, as part of the larger modernization project, in the terminal’s main lobby.
Further improvements include upgrades to the heating, ventilation, air conditioning and fire suppression systems as well as an energy efficient geothermal field. The completed project is expected to reduce green house gas emissions by 53 percent, energy use by 39 percent and energy costs by 31 percent compared to conventional construction.
Reconfigurations in the terminal have created more efficient and safer passenger movement by rearranging the check-in, baggage claim, baggage handling and security areas. The interior and the exterior of the terminal are being updated to compliment the new addition.
Funding for this major infrastructure improvement project came from the Town of Smithers with significant contributions from the Government of Canada in partnership with UBCM, BC Air Access Program, Northern Development Initiative Trust and the Regional District of Bulkley Nechako.
Joel McKay, CEO, Northern Development Initiative Trust
“Airport facilities are critical for the development of communities and the economy of the region. Whether for increased capacity for transporting goods, bringing more visitors to our region or emergency response, investments in airport infrastructure provides a long-term asset for the benefit of the region. Congratulations to the Smithers Regional Airport on the new opportunities that will come from this project.”
The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities
“The Government of Canada is proud to invest in important transportation infrastructure like the Smithers Airport, which plays such an important role in encouraging tourism and regional development. The airport’s new and improved facilities will accommodate travelers’ needs now and well into the future while strengthening the foundation for economic growth and middle-class job creation in the region.”
MLA Doug Donaldson, on behalf of Claire Trevena, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure
“Investing in B.C.’s air infrastructure is a key priority for the ministry, and projects like the Smithers Regional Airport secure boarding lounge are examples of how this program can boost safety and make experiences better for travellers. The B.C. Air Access Program ensures airports throughout B.C. can access the support they need to make these important upgrades.”
Mark Fisher, Rural Area A Director, Regional District of Bulkley Nechako
“The Smithers Regional Airport is really a regional resource. It helps us connect to the world, helps our businesses, and strengthens our relationships with family and friends. For this, the Regional District was happy to support the project, one that focuses on improving the experience for people traveling in our area. By supporting projects like this we become true partners in both economic, and just as important, community development projects.”
Taylor Bachrach, Mayor, Town of Smithers
“Council and I are very pleased with the completed departure lounge. The new space is inspiring, comfortable and efficient, and we are confident it will serve our community well for many years to come. I would like to congratulate the project team on its successful completion of this first phase of the Airport Terminal Modernization Project. I would also like to thank all of the funding agencies whose financial contributions made the project possible.”
Director of Marketing and Communications
Northern Development Initiative Trust
Town of Smithers