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NEWS Last modified on September 17, 2014

Montréal–Mirabel passenger terminal to be demolished

Aéroports de Montréal (ADM) has awarded contracts for the dismantling of the former Montréal–Mirabel Airport passenger terminal building, which has lay dormant for 10 years.

The authority’s board of directors has authorized the terminal’s demolition, which has been vacant since 2004, and says ADM will benefit from the “favourable timing” to develop its land with access to runways.

Projects have been rubber-stamped to decontaminate and dismantle the building, and carry out preparatory and related work associated with dismantling of the building.

The terminal is located on 15 acres of the 6,000-acre cargo airport site, and ADM has spent 10 years trying to find a new role for the disused building.

James Cherry, president and CEO of the authority, explains: “Overall, the prices submitted were very advantageous, thanks to very favourable timing for work providers.

“ADM intends, therefore, to proceed immediately to take advantage of this unique window of opportunity and redevelop the underlying land as soon as possible.”

While seeking to respect the confidentiality of the bidding process, ADM notes the highest combined bid for the two projects was less than C$15 million (€10.5 million).

“The board of directors’ decision was obvious, since the dismantling will cost much less than the C$25-35 million (€15-23 million) required for an upgrade, especially in view of the fact that this is an unused and outdated building which would remain obsolete even after an eventual upgrade,” Cherry continues.

“In addition, the dismantling will permit the redevelopment of an entire sector of the airport that has excellent access to the apron and runways, as well as to Highway 50, all with the goal of creating jobs and wealth for the community,” Cherry adds.

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Regarding the proposed trade-fair centre, Cherry says no formal agreement binds ADM to the developers themselves acknowledged in a document submitted to ADM last August that the City of Mirabel is not able to guarantee the financial commitments required to take possession of the building.

During the past decade, ADM has made efforts to find a new vocation for the terminal and spent about C$30 million (€21 million) just to maintain it.

ADM has also released the results of an economic impact study, which shows Montréal–Mirabel International Airport is “more than ever” an important economic driver for the entire Greater Montréal region, and particularly for the Laurentians and the City of Mirabel.

The study, conducted by E&B Data confirms Montréal–Mirabel has been successfully transformed into a world-class aviation hub, with 86% of its 3,700 direct jobs now linked to the high-added-value aerospace sector, including the manufacture and repair of aircraft, engines and other aircraft components, some of the 30 firms at the site.

“We are now seeing a lot of activity on the Montréal–Mirabel airport site, with jobs that are generally of higher quality and better paid than those of the past,” says Cherry.

The current operations of companies at Montréal–Mirabel, the study found, along with their investment projects, contribute C$1.1 billion (€773 million) to Québec’s GDP.

The Montréal–Mirabel site also generates about $200 million (€140 million) a year in tax revenues (income and other taxes and quasi-tax revenues), and the City of Mirabel collects nearly C$6 million (€4 million) a year in property taxes from firms on the airport site.

Cherry concludes: “Mirabel airport is a strategic asset and ADM is constantly working to improve its performance through investments of some C$170 million (€119million) over the next few years, including C$40 million (€28 million) for the repaving of Runway 06-24.”

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