From her current office on the second floor above Adrian’s At The Airport restaurant, Langley airport manager Carol Madill can see her new workspace taking shape.
When the $10 million, 55,000 sq-ft building is ready later this year, Madill and her staff will be trading an outdoor stairway for an elevator and a spacious third-floor office with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the main runway.
“We’ll be excited to be moving into it,” Madill said.
“We’ll have more space, much-needed space.”
The new terminal building will increase the space for airport administration from the current 900 square feet to about 2,000, and will house Adrian’s on the second floor, with an outdoor balcony dining area.
It will also have a new air traffic control tower.
Builder Ron Madsen president of RDM Enterprises, said the first tenants to move in will likely be Madill and her people, sometime in May.
By “October-November,” all of the other tenants should be moved in, he said.
He can’t be more precise because the aircraft control tower move depends on when NAV Canada, the federal non-profit corporation that runs all air traffic control in Canada, has signed off on the technological part of the move.
“It’s going to take 60 days to do the ’fit-up’ for them,” Madsen said.
“We’ll be moving people in the middle of May.”
Until the air traffic controllers have moved, Madsen can’t build the hangars on the north side of the building because it would block the view from the old tower.
“We had to leave a little bit out,” said Madsen.
Once the tower crew has moved, work on the hangars will begin.
“We’re all ready to go,” Madesn said.
An RDM division, Pacific Aircraft Services, will own the building and lease it out.
When Adrian’s restaurant is in its new space, the old restaurant will be demolished.
During a recent wind storm, the old building suffered some roof damage that was not repaired, because it will be coming down in just a few months and putting up new shingles would only be a waste of money.
That’s why a blue tarp now covers the roof.
Once the building is done, it will give fly-in visitors an indoor place to stay, as opposed to the current circumstances when people arriving at the airport after the office and the restaurant are closed are have had to wait outdoors until a cab could come pick them up.
It will also have a bigger flight planning centre for air crews.
Originally built by the federal Department of Transport in 1938, the Langley airport was controlled by the Department of National Defence and enhanced for the Royal Canadian Air Force for use as a relief field in the early 1940s.
After the Second World War, the Department of Transport resumed ownership and leased the airport to the Township of Langley. In 1954, the facility was licensed to operate as a municipal airport and in 1967 it was purchased by the Township for $24,300.
That turned out to be an excellent investment.
Welcoming around 100,000 rotary and fixed-wing traffic movements per year, YNJ is one of the busiest general aviation airports in the country. The airport is home to dozens of aviation businesses, providing everything from chartered helicopter and fixed-wing flights to aerospace innovation, parts manufacturing, and maintenance.