Aéroports de Montréal Embarks On Expansion Project For YUL

Operator Aéroports de Montréal will invest about $2.5 billion (US$1.95B) over the next five years in new and expanded facilities designed to meet the needs of the growing number of passengers using Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport (YUL).

The operator says it will finance the investments through the increase in revenue from traffic as well as an increase in long-term debt.

Among many projects, Aéroports de Montréal will address congestion by rebuilding major infrastructures that have reached the end of their life cycles. Plans call for building a new parking garage to replace an aging facility across from the terminal, rebuilding the elevated departures area and building an underground rail station. “Montréal will at last join the ranks of world metropolises that have fast, efficient transit links with their international airports,” said Philippe Rainville, president and CEO of Aéroports de Montréal, in a statement.

Further down the line, the airport operator will add another 20-30 gates at a new terminal connected to the existing one.

Airside work is already underway to expand capacity. “We have been continually expanding from within, reconfiguring, imagining solutions,” Rainville said. In recent months, key projects have included creating a connections center for passengers in transit; adding 100 automated kiosks at international arrivals; restoring and putting back into service eight passenger-transfer vehicles from Mirabel; and adding several remote aircraft stands.

“The projects we have in the pipeline will require investments of at least $2.5 billion over the next five years. And, more important, they represent the initial phase of a sequence of projects that will continue until 2030,” Rainville said.

The major capital plans come at a time when YUL is struggling with capacity issues. The airport served 18.2 million passengers in 2017, and traffic has increased by 32 percent over the past five years. The airport expects the gains to continue at a rate of more than 4 percent annually over the next five years, reaching 22 million passengers in 2022. Aéroports de Montréal is projecting the airport will serve 35 million passengers in 2035.

“We wanted this great gateway to the world, and we’ve built it,” Rainville said. “Now, we must follow through. Embrace our success [and] meet the challenge of growth.”