Airport improvement fee going up

Ashley Fitzpatrick
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St. John's airport resets 10-year plan

The St. John's International Airport Authority has announced a new 10-year plan for $243 million in upgrades to the airport.

The upgrades will be paid for through an increase to the Airport Improvement Fee — moving from $20 to $30 as of Aug. 1. The fee is charged to individual passengers.

The 10- year plan follows the announcement of a similar 10-year plan in February 2011, when upgrades were expected to cost about $150 million.

Neil Pittman, chairman of the airport authority board of directors, says the new cost estimate is a result of changes to the original construction plans paired with increases to estimates on how much work will cost.

In one case, Pittman told reporters at a press conference at the airport this morning, a call for expressions of interest returned proposals with costs 40 per cent higher than expected.

Pittman said the airport authority has confidence in its current estimates and the continued increase in airport traffic.

The improvements are expected to result in the airport being able to accommodate two million passengers by 2023.

In 2013, the airport recorded about 1.5 million passengers- the highest number on record.

The existing airport terminal was designed to handle only about 900,000 passengers each year.

In addition to terminal upgrades, planned work includes installing a Category III instrument landing system, a project started in 2013 and continuing for three years, expected to allow more landings in foggy conditions.

Details of the construction plans can be viewed by clicking HERE. Since the announcement of the previous 10-year plan in 2011, about $40 million in upgrades have been completed at the airport.

Those upgrades include: an expansion to the airport apron, providing space for five more planes to park overnight; construction of a 30,000-square-foot building for ramp and cargo services; opening of World Parkway, the new airport access road and the addition of 242 new spaces for long-term parking.


Geographic location: St. John's

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Recent comments

  • Cory
    April 29, 2014 - 14:49

    This is an airport people... Almost a half a billion dollars on an airport all tolled? This is highway robbery. It's taking advantage of people and is ludicrous. Somebody, somewhere, is making a heck of. Lot of money off the traveling public. Factor in the crazy charges for long term parking and I think I'm going to start my own airport. Sounds like a license to print money. Just my 2 cents worth or should I say $30.00.

  • Ken Collis
    April 29, 2014 - 11:15

    My question would be what in the WORLD we needed a World Parkway for in the first place? It adds a couple dollars to every taxi fare and nothing else. It's one of the widest roads around and once I saw three cars on it at the same time. If they just wanted to open up more land why not just leave the old road like it was and run a new road in there? Rumor is that there is a push to open up the old enterance anyway. What a huge waste of OUR money.