Official opening of the newly constructed departures lounge at the Region of Waterloo International Airport (YKF)

Posted On Tuesday July 05, 2022

Region of Waterloo, ON – Today the Region of Waterloo International Airport (YKF) officially opened its newly constructed departures lounge. The lounge is one piece of the airport’s $30.2M Airport Terminal Expansion Project currently underway, and is funded in part by the Canada Community-Building Fund.

The expansion is part of YKF’s 20-year Airport Master Plan which was approved by Regional Council in 2017.

In 2022, 500,000 passengers are expected to travel through YKF. The new lounge is among the first steps in improving passenger experience and managing increased passenger volumes created by Flair Airlines. The expanded 20,000 square foot lounge provides seating for 500 people with more space for guests to relax before departure. Six new boarding gates allows passengers to get on board their aircraft and on their way faster.

"I am thrilled to be celebrating another milestone in this important project,” said Karen Redman, Chair of the Region of Waterloo. “Since this expansion plan was put in place in 2017, our airport has undergone impressive growth – not just in size and number of passengers – but in overall jobs and economic impact as well. We are very thankful for the support of our federal partners and the Canada Community-Building Fund to help make our vision a reality. We look forward to the next phase of development at the Region of Waterloo International Airport.”

The Canada Community-Building Fund (CCBF) provides permanent, stable funding for municipal infrastructure across the country, supporting local projects that have a direct community benefit. The fund is delivered in Ontario annually through the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) to all municipalities excluding the City of Toronto. The Region of Waterloo has invested $246 million in CCBF funding since the fund was established in 2005, and its most recent project is the largest investment to date under the Regional Airports category.

“Investments in transportation infrastructure is vital to ensuring residents and businesses are well connected. The work being done here is critical to the future of our region - our economy, and the way we travel,” said Tim Louis, Member of Parliament for Kitchener–Conestoga, on behalf of the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities. "The new departures lounge will ensure the Region of Waterloo International Airport has the capacity to accommodate the increasing number of travelers to our region in a modern and welcoming space.”

Flair Airlines has three aircraft based at the Region of Waterloo International Airport and provides non-stop service to 12 destinations. This summer Flair expanded service to the east coast including Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island and Deer Lake, Newfoundland with service to Montreal, Quebec launching on July 7.

“Kitchener-Waterloo is an important part of the Flair network. We strengthened our ties with YKF earlier this year by positioning a third aircraft at the airport,” said Stephen Jones, President and Chief Executive Officer for Flair Airlines. “We are committed to this community and to expanding affordable air service options for all. We are excited to see the airport expansion plan become a reality and want to thank the community for supporting local air service.”

In July 2022, phase two of construction will begin to reconfigure the existing terminal building and enhance the passenger experience. Self-service kiosks and common use airline counters will improve check-in. A third security line will speed passenger screening. A new baggage system, with a self-service bag drop and expanded sort area will streamline baggage handling. The anticipated completion date of phase two is spring 2023.

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