New terminal now fully operational

The newly-redeveloped terminal facility at the Brandon Municipal Airport is now fully operational after the City of Brandon announced last week that it was now open to the public.

“Today was our first day and it flowed perfectly,” said director of transportation for the city Carla Richardson on May 10, the first official day for the new facility. “No one had anything negative to say, so we’re extremely pleased with the design and the result.”

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The redevelopment project, which began back in November 2015, consists of a new terminal building which is attached to the old building providing more space for travellers. It includes a bigger check-in/baggage and a separate security screening area, as well as a dedicated arrivals section and departures lounge. There are now device charging stations, vending machines, a water fountain/bottle fill station, an ATM terminal and more washrooms.

Originally expected to cost $8.8 million, the project – which was cost-shared by the city, province and federal government – ended up being approximately $10.4 million after additional expenditures such as a cistern for fire prevention and a backup generator bumped the cost up.

“Those kinds of things were not anticipated at the beginning,” Richardson said. “We were able to mitigate those unforeseen circumstances and be able to deal with them in the most efficient manner that we could.”

Some final installations are still in the midst of being completed including some carpeting, plumbing and lighting fixtures. Meanwhile, construction on the short term parking lot is nearly complete, Richardson says, adding that Phase 2 (long term parking lot) will be completed this summer.

Richardson believes with the improvements that have been made, that the new look airport will help attract more air service. WestJet began offering daily flights between Brandon and Calgary since 2013. WestJet added an eastern route to Toronto last summer but that didn’t last long and ended up being shut down due to low ticket sales.

“We have put ourselves in the best position possible to encourage additional air service in and out of the city of Brandon. We will begin putting our resources together to be able to promote our new terminal as much as we can.”

Airport secures funding via ACAP

The Brandon Municipal Airport received some good news recently, securing funding via the federal Airports Capital Assistance Program. A total of $1.6 million will help support the airside electrical rehabilitation project.

Richardson says the funding will go towards fixing the runway lights, which are extremely outdated.

She says it will reduce the concerns of the lights going down and aircraft not being able to land on the runway.

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