The airport expansion at Kelowna International Airport has been given a half-million-dollar boost from the B.C. provincial government to incorporate the use of innovative construction methods, specifically mass timber.
The funds are from the Mass Timber Demonstration Program. The airport will receive the money to help with the costs associated with using mass timber, according to a press release from the City of Kelowna.
The airport expansion that will be built on what is now a parking lot will be made out of mass timber which is created by compressing wood together to create large beams. It has similar fire and seismic performance as concrete and steel but is lighter in weight.
“We are seeing now, that projects are being completed much faster when using mass timber because they are being pre-fabricated off-site,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Jobs Economic Recovery and Innovation, in a press conference.
“They are coming on-site with less disruption to local businesses because there is less construction coming in [and] less noise disruption to local residents.”
Background work has already begun and airport director Sam Samadaar says that the two million passengers that pass through Kelowna International Airport every year will be able to walk through the new area of the airport in three years.
“It will expand our current building and start to separate the gates. Right now we have everyone going through a series of the same gates so we will be able to simplify the travel for the public,” said Samadaar.
That means that as Kelowna’s population grows, the airport, which is the 10th busiest in the country, will be able to accommodate more travellers in a timely matter.
“Building off the project at YLW and the success of the first two intakes of the Mass Timber Demonstration Program, the province is also announcing an additional $2M to open a third intake, which begins immediately,” states a press release.
Construction is expected to begin in 2023 and phase one will be complete in 2025. For more information about the airport expansion visit www.ylw.kelowna.ca
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