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VIDEO: Relief on the way for at-capacity Kelowna International Airport

When visitors to Kelowna International Airport aren't crowding into line-ups to board their flights, they're often seen catching a peak at the expansion efforts which are now well underway.

Thursday, airport officials pulled back the curtains to show the public how things are progressing.

The work is just phase one of four in YLW's long-term plans.

The project will add 60,000 square feet to the terminal.

"A doubling of the size of the departures lounge," said Airport Operations Director Phillip Elchitz.

<who> Photo Credit: NowMedia

"It will be two storeys of volume, so very open. It will have lots of window space and natural light coming in."

For anyone who's experienced the bottleneck of getting through screening, Elchitz points out the expansion promises relief there too.

"Adding six screening lines for people going through pre-board screening," he said.

<who>Photo credit: Contributed </who>

"You're going to see new and expanded food offerings and just an upgraded or enhanced passenger experience."

The expansion will also mean that arriving passengers will pass through the same gates as departing passengers and make their way through the departure lounge as well.

Elchitz said the current expansion was supposed to start before the pandemic but had to be delayed.

"Now that the passengers have come back," he said, "we've been operating the facility at capacity, especially at peak times. So this is very much needed."

<who> Photo Credit: NowMedia <who> Phillip Elchitz, YLW Operations Director

The $108 million project is on schedule for completion early in 2026.

Phase two, which includes a new arrivals area isn't expected to get underway until 2030.

Meanwhile, separate from the four-phase airport expansion, Elchitz said construction on a new hotel and a 1000-stall parkade adjacent to the airport is expected to break ground next year.

<who> Photo Credit: Contributed

"So this time next year, there will be three cranes up and there will be construction everywhere and we're so excited we're able to move forward with all of those plans."

The hotel project is expected to be up and running in 2027.



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