Winnipeg Airport oversees baggage system upgrade alongside runway and GSE site construction

Winnipeg’s James Richardson International Airport has warned of increased traffic and longer lines as a combination of construction projects coincide with their busiest months.

Construction on Runway 13/31 started in April and is not set to be completed until the end of summer, with a baggage system upgrade and new retail options also due in the coming months.

“Runway construction’s continuing, that’s going to wrap up end of August, early September, so that’ll be back into operation and that will be a great thing for the airport,” said Tyler MacAffee of the Winnipeg Airport Authority (WAA).

“We’ve got a ground service equipment building as well that’s going up right now, $27 million investment we made, it’s kind of going to relocate some people and allow us to redevelop some of our cargo areas.”

The WAA said in a statement that the renovation of the baggage handling system is to help the airport deal with increased passenger volumes and to ensure passenger safety and security.

The airport is expecting passenger numbers to grow this summer in the meantime.

We certainly see spikes, sort of that March break period, Christmastime, but for us the busiest two months of the year are typically July and August,” said MacAffee.

“Airlines do add a few extra people when they need to. The airport’s built to move people. So when you just see those same flights coming in at maybe 85 per cent capacity this time of year, they may be up 90, 95 per cent.

“But it doesn’t really have a big impact on the operations of the airport.”