A large yellow crane lifted the first few walls of the new Langley Regional Airport control tower into place Monday morning, a milestone moment in the construction of the new facility at 5385 216 St.
All of the reinforced concrete structural walls were expected to be in place by the end of the week, airport manager Guy Miller said.
“It’s been a long time coming,” Miller said.
“It’s going to serve us very well.”
Once the concrete shell of the building is in place, work will begin on the interior.
The next big step in the construction process will be the addition of a large “pre-engineered” hangar building, Miller said.
If all goes well, the building will be ready for occupancy by the end of the year.
The $10 million 55,000 sq-ft mixed-use structure will house a state-of-the-art three-storey terminal building with a new airport control tower standing another two storeys above it.
“It’s a fantastic addition to the airport,” Miller said.
“It all started with a few phone calls to developers and NAV Canada.”
The new building comes at a time when the airport is growing rapidly, with the opening of the new 84,000 sq. ft Vector Aerospace facility and other airport tenants tearing down existing hangars to build newer, larger ones.
The new terminal building will increase the space for airport administration from the current 900 square feet to about 2,000, and will house Adrians at the Airport restaurant on the second floor, with an outdoor balcony dining area. Adrians has remained open during the construction of the new building next to its current home.
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.
Welcoming around 100,000 rotary and fixed-wing traffic movements per year, Langley 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.