DEER LAKE On the heels of a record-setting summer, the Deer Lake Regional Airport had to construct almost 200 extra parking spaces, opened last week, raising its parking capacity to 875 vehicles.
It was only one year ago that a similar expansion had to be performed when the parking lot was expanded after setting a record for the amount of overnight parking last spring. Airport chief executive officer Jamie Schwartz said the last year’s parking expansion barely kept up with normal business operations.
He said a growing mobile work force is one reason for the expansion needs.
“We can only speculate that much of this increased demand is being generated by residents from the region who are commuting to work in other parts of the country,” said Schwartz. “The additional spaces should help resolve any of our parking challenges during the busy peak periods.”
He said the extra parking was also needed because the demand during peak travel times like Christmas and March break were regularly seeing upwards of 700 vehicles parking at the airport.
The Deer Lake facility is not the only airport in the province to expand its business. Both the Gander and St. John’s airports recently reported a five and seven per cent increase respectively in passenger traffic, and both have expansion projects either finished or currently ongoing.