The Region of Waterloo International Airport (YKF) in Canada has opened its newly constructed 20,000ft2 departures lounge – as part of its C$30.2m (US$23.2m) airport terminal expansion project.
The lounge has been designed to provide seating for 500 people with more space for guests to relax before departure. Phase two of construction will begin this month to reconfigure the existing terminal building. Self-service kiosks and common-use airline counters will be implemented at check-in. A third security line will also be added to speed passenger screening. Additionally, a baggage system with a self-service bag drop and expanded sort area will be installed to improve the airport’s baggage handling. The anticipated completion date of phase two is spring 2023.
The lounge expansion was partly in response to airline Flair Airline’s expanded service to the east coast – including Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island; Deer Lake, Newfoundland; and to Montreal, Quebec – which is expected to increase passenger volumes to 500,000 this year. Flair Airlines has three aircraft based at the Region of Waterloo International Airport and provides non-stop service to 12 destinations. The project is part of YKF’s 20-year Airport Master Plan which was approved by Regional Council in 2017 and has been funded in part by the Canada Community-Building Fund.
Tim Louis, Member of Parliament for Kitchener–Conestoga, on behalf of the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities, commented, “Investments in transportation infrastructure are vital to ensuring residents and businesses are well connected. The work being done here is critical to the future of our region – our economy, and the way we travel. The new departures lounge will ensure the Region of Waterloo International Airport has the capacity to accommodate the increasing number of travelers to our region in a modern and welcoming space.”
“I am thrilled to be celebrating another milestone in this important project,” added Karen Redman, chair of the Region of Waterloo. “Since this expansion plan was put in place in 2017, our airport has undergone impressive growth – not just in size and number of passengers – but in overall jobs and economic impact as well. We are very thankful for the support of our federal partners and the Canada Community-Building Fund to help make our vision a reality. We look forward to the next phase of development at the Region of Waterloo International Airport.”
Stephen Jones, president and CEO of Flair Airlines, said, “Kitchener-Waterloo is an important part of the Flair network. We strengthened our ties with YKF earlier this year by positioning a third aircraft at the airport. We are committed to this community and to expanding affordable air service options for all. We are excited to see the airport expansion plan become a reality and want to thank the community for supporting local air service.”