Gander airport terminal looking to down-size

Kevin Higgins
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The airport terminal in Gander has been part of aviation history for more than 50 years, but it’s costly to maintain and bigger than is required.

Gander International Airport Authority chairman Fred Moffitt outlines the need for a new terminal building at Gander International Airport during the GIAA’s annual public meeting last week in Gander. — Photo by Kevin Higgins/The Beacon

That’s why the Gander International Airport Authority (GIAA) has hired a consultant to determine whether it should be replaced.

“Most airports these days regard their terminals as a revenue- generator. … This one costs us $1.2 million per year just to keep it open,” GIAA chairman Fred Moffitt said at the authority’s annual public meeting last week.

“For example, last year our oil bill was over $400,000 and the light bill was another $400,000. With ever-increasing utility costs, this cannot be allowed to continue if the airport is to remain viable.”

“It’s also the capital cost of maintaining this old building …,” said GIAA president and CEO Gary Vey. “There’s 200,000 square feet here.”

Unused space

And not all of it is being used. “We just had to look at our options,” Vey said.

“We looked at ways and means of renovating the current building, but in consultation with our engineers we came to the conclusion that it wasn’t just viable for us to renovate this building and bring it more along to our needs, because simply, the size of the building wasn’t going to change. … So, the board of directors determined pursuing a new building is the appropriate thing for us to do.”

Vey said a new terminal needs only be about one-quarter the size of the current facility.

“The consultants now will look at the location of the terminal, the space requirements of our tenants, and the projected traffic levels going forward, to come up with a suitable plan.”

Vey said he hopes to have their report in September.

“This is a long-term project and it won’t be done overnight,” he said.

Organizations: Gander International Airport Authority, Gander airport terminal

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