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Building our new airport: we are finally under way

After the ceremonial groundbreaking at the end of last month, construction of the new 277,300-square foot airport terminal is now under way. There is not much to look at right now, but over the 40-month construction timeline, the airport landscape will change as the new terminal rises out of the ground and is transformed into a modern and comfortable new airport.

Here's a general timeline of what to expect:

2017

For the rest of 2017, our constructors will focus on building the terminal's foundation and putting a solid base in place for the new facility.

Summer

• Initial grading and excavation of the site has begun in preparation for the building's foundation

• Our contractors' facilities, including offices and storage areas, will be set up and additional fencing will be installed around the work area to protect the public, the workers and airport operations

• 3,500 tonnes of steel piles and the pile-driving equipment have arrived on the island. Pile driving begins this week and will continue for five to six months. Pile driving uses a machine to hammer the steel piles into the ground. This work is essential for the building foundations and is expected to be noisy. Managing disruption to our neighbours is very important to us and our contractors will dampen the sound as much as possible

Autumn

• After piling, a concrete foundation will be cast and structural steelwork will begin towards the end of 2017 and continue into the spring of 2018

2018

Next, the outer shell of the new terminal will begin to go up and by the end of the year the terminal, on both the inside and outside, will take shape

Spring

• The building's “envelope” — the roof and walls, windows, doors and anything else surrounding the outside of the structure to separate the interior and exterior — will be installed

Winter

• The interior fit-out is scheduled to begin in the latter part of 2018. This will include the installation of interior walls, flooring, electrical, mechanical, baggage and passenger processing areas, commercial spaces and finishes.

• Concurrent to the interior work will be the development of the apron, the area where the aircraft are loaded and unloaded, fuelled and boarded. The apron construction activities, such as grading and installation of underground services will commence in early 2018, with placement of the surface pavements scheduled for commencement in December 2018

2019

This is the final leg of our construction journey and the start of the most critical stage of the project — commissioning and testing of the new terminal.

• Landscaping around the building will begin in the spring and continue through the summer months to install parking lots and sidewalks, as well as to plant trees, shrubs and other vegetation

• Towards the end of the year, the facility's construction will be complete, and testing and commissioning of the new terminal's communications, technical and other systems will be conducted, and simulations of all possible scenarios will be carried out. Quality checks on all aspects of the building and systems will be completed to ensure everything is up to the exceptional standard that has been established for this project. Staff will also be trained to use the new systems and to become familiar with the new terminal. Altogether, this work is expected to take many months

2020

By July 2020, the doors to our new airport will be open for business, offering a whole new experience.

Construction of the new terminal will not interrupt the daily operation of the existing airport, although from time to time, it may be noisy. And, for the most part, it will not interfere with day-to-day life on the island. It will, however, require the use of Bermuda's roadways at times for transportation of equipment and materials. Traffic delays will be minimised as much as possible and ample public notification will be made before any disruption.

Throughout construction, shipments of materials and equipment for the building's construction will arrive at Marginal Wharf or Penno's Wharf in St George's, then trucked to site.

It has been a long road to get to where we are today, and there are many months of hard work ahead. We are looking forward to the challenge and, ultimately, to having a new airport that our residents and visitors deserve. Thank you for your patience as we work to build Bermuda's new airport terminal.

Aaron Adderley is the president of Skyport

• The redevelopment of LF Wade International Airport is being advanced under a development agreement between the governments of Canada and Bermuda. The Canadian Commercial Corporation is a Crown corporation for the Government of Canada and brings expertise in international contracting for complex purchases and the experience to select highly capable suppliers, such as Aecon. Aecon Group Inc (TSX: ARE) is a Canadian leader in construction and infrastructure development providing integrated turnkey services to private and public sector clients through its Concessions division. www.aecon.com

Taking off: from left are John Beck, Martin Zablocki, Premier Michael Dunkley, Minister Bob Richards, Minister Michael Fahy, Steve Nackan and Aaron Adderley breaking ground at the new airport (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

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Published May 29, 2017 at 9:00 am (Updated May 28, 2017 at 11:42 pm)

Building our new airport: we are finally under way

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