$27M equipment building going up at Winnipeg airport

Work is underway on a new, $27-million equipment building at Winnipeg's airport.

Ground Services Equipment building will support ground handling and cargo companies at airport

Winnipeg leaders broke ground on the new building on Monday. (Lyzaville Sale/CBC)

Work is underway on a new, $27-million equipment building at Winnipeg's airport.

Crews broke ground for the planned 96,000-square-foot building following a news conference at the Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport Monday morning.

"It's actually not just about the building, but it's about what this facility will then enable," said Barry Rempel, president of the Winnipeg Airports Authority.

The Ground Services Equipment building will support ground handling and cargo companies operating at the airport, the authority said. Those services were previously housed in a cargo area farther away from the main terminal.

Moving them to the new space will free up area in the old cargo building and save time and fuel, Rempel said. It could also help attract more tenants to the airport, he said.

Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler called the new building a "fantastic development" for the airport and Winnipeg. He said Winnipeg's airport is a "linchpin" for trade in and out of the city.

The building is going up on the east side of the main terminal, with access off Saskatchewan Avenue.

It's set to open in fall 2019.

Access to the new building will be off Saskatchewan Avenue. (Submitted by the Winnipeg Airports Authority)