The NWT government says its long-term plan for Yellowknife’s airport will involve a new terminal building alongside a range of other revamped facilities.
The territory is now asking residents for their feedback on two options that take different approaches to how the upgraded airport’s buildings would be laid out.
The first option involves building a passenger terminal that would be reached using a new road extending from Old Airport Road roughly where Gastown and Yellowknife Motors are currently located. A large industrial and air cargo zone would be created on the other side of the runway, accessed from Deh Cho Boulevard.
Option two moves all new development to the Deh Cho Boulevard side of the airport, including a new terminal building. The development would stretch along the east side of the road from the Sandpits to the Engle Business District (where the NWT SPCA and various industrial facilities are based).
Neither option is likely to happen in the immediate future, but one of them may be selected to form part of the finalized 20-year master plan for the airport.
“The purpose of a master plan is to promote growth along with guiding present and future airport development,” the territorial government stated as it asked for residents’ feedback.
“Both options represent long-term growth and will be triggered by air traffic and passenger volumes, market requirements and investment.”
While the layouts presented by the GNWT include space for hotels and various other forms of industry, the territory was careful to state “these are all concepts” and no commitment was being made to operating any such facility. If any such development went ahead, the GNWT stated, businesses would be found to lease the available space.
“These non-direct airport commercial uses would not be developed by the airport or the GNWT, but would be developed, paid for and operated by private developers on land leased from the airport,” the territory stated of plans for the likes of hotels.
Once a new terminal building is constructed, the existing passenger terminal would be repurposed, the territory added.
While the territory expressed no preference of its own, a supporting document made public on Tuesday appears to suggest officials have found more to like in option one, an air terminal accessible via Old Airport Road.
Under that option, the GNWT lists 13 “pros” and one “con.”
Option two, in the GNWT’s view, has seven pros and four cons.
A survey for residents asks which of the options best promotes growth and best serves the city, which considerations should be taken into account, and what kinds of facility should be built at the upgraded airport. (If you want a movie studio at Yellowknife Airport, that’s an option, so now’s your chance.)
The survey will be open until June 12.