The Halifax Stanfield International Airport is adding million-dollar washrooms, building new space for retail shops and restaurants, and upgrading its power backup system. 

The changes are laid out in this year's business plan, released earlier this month. The 20-page document outlines the goals for the airport's $54.1-million capital plan.

Travellers will be most aware of the increased retail options located past the security checkpoint.

"There is a great demand for retailers to put their space post-security," said Peter Spurway, vice-president of communications for the Halifax International Airport Authority. 

"Right now we have too much pre-security, not enough post-security."

'We're talking to a lot of people right now'

The airport will open five new 1,000-square-foot spaces later this year, however Spurway said the layouts can be reconfigured to be larger or smaller based on the tenant.

He said the airport will maintain its focus on attracting local businesses, but did not confirm any specific agreements.

"We're talking to a lot of people right now," he said.

Work will also continue on modernizing the facility's washrooms. At least two washroom renovations are complete, with more planned.

"They're running at just over $1 million apiece," Spurway said. "We go right back to the bare walls and start over again. These are not inexpensive propositions."

Backup power for the backup power 

There are also changes that travellers won't see.

The airport is adding an additional backup generator and an extra connection point to Nova Scotia Power's grid.

Currently, all of the airport's power comes from a connection that runs through the Aerotech Business Park. By the end of March an automatic switch will be operational that allows the airport to draw power from a connection near Elmsdale, if the main feed is ever compromised.

This redundancy limits the chance they'll ever need backup power, Spurway said.

The arrivals lounge will also get a refresh, an area Spurway called cluttered. "It's got a lot of signs in it now that we think are redudant." 

"We have some interior design work that will make our passenger experience that much more pleasant," he said.