Vancouver Airport upgrades halt as air travel declines due to COVID-19

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The Vancouver Airport Authority is halting some large infrastructure projects because it says the continued decline in air travel caused by the COVID-19 pandemic means it is no longer immediately needed.The so-called CORE program, which started in 2018, was part of a $ 9.1 billion plan to build 75 projects over 20 years.

It included a new central utility building, a geothermal heating and air conditioning system and a ground transportation hub including a new parking lot.

The airport authority said in a press release that it will prioritize more immediate needs, including health screening and testing trials and projects such as airfield infrastructure which are best carried out when l he airport is less busy.

Craig Richmond, the former CEO of Vancouver International Airport, stands in the new YVR terminal under construction in Richmond on Monday, March 2, 2020 (Maggie MacPherson / CBC)

Basic work started in 2018

President and CEO Tamara Vrooman said hundreds of construction workers, designers, engineers and others have worked on the program over the past two years.

She says the airport authority will work with EllisDon Corp. on the end of construction, with a target of stopping work on November 20.

“Canceling this major infrastructure project was a difficult but necessary decision,” Vrooman said in the statement.

“I want to stress that this decision is one more step in preserving the continued financial stability of the Vancouver Airport Authority so that we can continue to serve our community and focus our resources on the immediate needs of the airport. ”

The CORE program will be interrupted in its current state and can be restarted if necessary, the authority says.

He says he will focus his financial resources on projects that support the recovery and restart of aviation, including improving data infrastructure and technology.

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