Construction is resuming on the $300-million Pier D international terminal building expansion of Vancouver International Airport (YVR).
In an interview today with Daily Hive Urbanized, newly appointed Vancouver Airport Authority CEO Tamara Vrooman said a decision has been made to press forward with the Pier D project.
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The international terminal building expansion is now scheduled to reach completion in December of this year. This new wing of the terminal building was originally scheduled to open at the end of June 2020, but construction was suspended in late March as one of YVR’s mitigation measures in response to the health crisis.
The expansion is substantially complete, with work moving forward focusing on outfitting the interior of the new building shell. Construction officially began in 2018.
When open, it will provide YVR with eight additional wide body gates, including four jet bridge gates and four remote stand operation bus gates to create additional terminal building capacity. Two gates will also have the ability to handle aircraft as large as the Airbus A380.
Ample new elevated food and beverage, retail, and services are planned for this terminal expansion.
Another major construction project that is restarting is the new complex with a six-storey parkade and a central utilities building with a geoexchange, four backup power generators, and water filtration capture system — built on the former ground-level value parking lot between the existing parkade structure and the Petro Canada gas station.
The new parkade will connect with the existing parkade, providing an additional 2,170 public parking stalls and 665 car rental stalls within a new and improved ground transportation facility. Vrooman says this will allow the airport to consolidate ground-level parking lots elsewhere on Sea Island, freeing up the land for higher value land use.
As for the central utilities building, hundreds of wells for geoexchange piping will support the terminal building’s heating and cooling needs.
Construction on the parkade and utilities building is expected to reach completion in 2022.
But with the anticipated years-long, post-pandemic recovery, the scope and timeline of other elements of YVR’s $9.1-billion expansion and improvement project could be impacted, specifically the transborder terminal building expansion.
Prior to the health crisis, YVR was in dire need of additional capacity, with a record 26.4 million passengers recorded in 2019 — exceeding the terminal building’s capacity for 25 million passengers. Satellite aircraft gates linked to the terminal building by buses were increasingly used as one of the options to quickly provide additional capacity.