City council has given the go-ahead to funding for the $90-million expansion of Kelowna International Airport.

Called the largest infrastructure project in the airport’s history, phase one of the expansion will add approximately 5,590 square metres of new space to the terminal building and provide for renovation of another 1,200 square metres of space in the existing terminal building.

The airport terminal building was already over capacity in 2019, the city said in a media release, which is “restricting growth in air service, food and beverage services and regional economic development.”

The airport has been preparing for the expansion project for the last seven months, the release said, completing “enabling works” such as excavation and other civil projects.

Those preparations will continue through the spring with terminal construction beginning this summer with completion scheduled for 2026.

“We know that construction will have impacts to guests visiting [the airport] such as noise and impacts to existing amenities and parking. Our team is working to minimize these impacts as much as possible,” said Kelowna Airport director Sam Samaddar. “We will be sharing more information about what passengers can expect at [the airport] as we approach construction.”

The expansion will not require contributions from Kelowna taxpayers, the release says, with funding provided by airport user fees.

Once complete, airport users will see an expanded departures area with more food and beverage options; expanded security screening; direct access to south gates for departures and arrivals; and improved signage for wayfinding.

Kelowna International Airport is the tenth busiest in Canada and currently offers over 60 daily non-stop commercial flights, both domestic and international, to 18 destinations with 10 airlines.