Big changes are underway at Saskatoon's John G. Diefenbaker airport.

The Air Terminal Building Expansion is a $53 million project that will bring more gates, food, beverage, and retail services to Saskatoon's airport.

Stephen Maybury, President and CEO with the Saskatoon Airport Authority, said the new terminal will help meet the increasing demand for services at the airport.

"As our passengers go through here, there is an expectation that that experience will continuously improve," Maybury said. "We're taking a huge step forward in resetting that experience."

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Stephen Maybury, President and CEO with the Saskatoon Airport Authority. (Peter Mills/CBC)

The new terminal will offer eight bridgeable gates and three ground load positions. The additional gates could mean more flights coming in and out of Saskatoon.

The expansion project — which is currently in the first phase of completion — is being paid for by the airport's improvement fee. Maybury said he expects the project to stay within the budget.

It is expected to be completed by September 2014.

In 2012, more than 1.3 million passengers travelled through Saskatoon's airport — more than a six per cent increase from 2011.