Nfld. & Labrador

$40M being invested this year in St. John's International Airport upgrades

A new parking lot at St. John's International Airport will provide free Wi-Fi for drivers waiting to pick up visitors, while reducing congestion inside the terminal and pollution on the outside.

Terminal expansion, roundabout, lot for people to park and wait to pick people up

St. John's International Airport is on budget and on schedule to complete a 10-year upgrade and expansion plan, according to the airport authority. (CBC)

A new parking lot at St. John's International Airport will provide free Wi-Fi for drivers waiting to pick up visitors, while reducing congestion inside the terminal and pollution on the outside. 

The addition is one of a series of improvements the St. John's International Airport Authority announced Thursday as part of a $40-million program over the coming year, and a component of a decade-long $250-million refurbishment. 

Pegged as a "cellphone waiting parking lot," the news space will allow people to park for free while they wait for arrivals. They will then not need to wait inside the airport, and pay for short-term parking in regular lots. 

Projects slated for this year include the first phase of the east terminal expansion, which is 35 per cent completed to date, as well as a roundabout installed at the intersection of World Parkway and Navigator Avenue.

"The roundabout is being installed to manage traffic flows, especially with a number of new developments planned for the area that include a service (gas) station, a rental car facility and a second hotel," said the airport in a news release.

A map showing the locations for the projects outlined for completion in 2016 at St. John's International Airport. (St. John's International Airport)

Those new projects are scheduled to be finished by September.

A covered walkway to the rental car parking lot installed earlier this year will be further extended this September when the new exit from the terminal to World Parkway is opened.

In addition, a new employee parking lot and "gold pass" parking lot will be completed this summer, and an extension to the short-term parking lot will allow parking for 41 more vehicles.

The authority said in a media release that the first phase of overall upgrades are on budget and on schedule for completion in April 2018.

The expansions to the terminal will mean 145,000 more square feet, which will make room for a new restaurant and bar, an area for nursing mothers, and more seating and bathrooms.

The overall 10-year expansion plan will enable the airport to accommodate two million more passengers a year.