Airport Expands and Opens a New Terminal in Fort McMurray
It took three years and $258 million but the new Fort McMurray International Airport terminal is finally open for business. As of June 9, 2014 passengers can now use the terminal to go to and from their travel destinations. According to airport and government officials this new addition is a very important part of the municipality of Wood Buffalo.
That's because Wood Buffalo has seen their air passenger traffic jump by as much as 75 percent in the last few years. That's 72 percent more than the average annual increase seen at North American airports.
Fort McMurray is one of the fastest growing municipalities in North America. That's why adding this new terminal was so important. They needed to make sure their infrastructure could handle the growth. The way the old airport was constructed it was not capable of keeping up with the current capacity let alone any future growth.
About 250,000 passengers were able to go through the old terminal every year. With the new terminal that number will jump to 1.3 million. That means over a million more people will be able to be served.
It seems as though travelers have already noticed how much better things are at the airport. One traveler actually said the new terminal makes traveling a lot easier as they no longer have to be cramped in a small airport.
The one thing that made this particular project so unique is the fact it was a greenfield terminal. That basically means they couldn't expand the current terminal. They had to go across the field and build it there. They had to start from scratch which is one of the main reasons the project took so long.
The old terminal will now only be used for workforce transportation. With growth expected to continue to rise airport officials believe even more expansion will be needed in the very near future.