British Columbia's Kelowna International Airport to use mass timber in terminal expansion; province contributes C$500,000 towards costs, plus creation of a digital construction twin, advanced fire modeling, life-cycle assessment of building materials

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KELOWNA, British Columbia , July 13, 2022 (press release) –

People travelling through the Kelowna International Airport (YLW) will benefit from an expansion and upgrade of the terminal, which will use mass timber through the Province's Mass Timber Demonstration Program.

The Airport Terminal Building Expansion project is anticipated to break ground in 2023 and will receive funding through the program, which has supported the advancement of mass timber in several projects throughout B.C.

“This project showcases what is possible when we promote innovation in the construction sector and support the development of mass timber in large infrastructure projects in B.C.,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation. “This initiative will help the airport and region grow, while also aligning with a key goal of the StrongerBC Economic Plan to grow a clean economy that works for all British Columbians.”

The airport will receive $500,000 from the Province to help with costs associated with the use of mass timber, as well as the creation of a digital construction twin, advanced fire modelling and life-cycle assessment of building materials. The use of prefabricated mass-timber panels will reduce construction time and will result in less construction traffic to the site. Canada’s 10th largest airport will remain open and fully operational throughout the nearly 8,000-square-metre expansion.

Building off the project at YLW and the success of the first two intakes of the Mass Timber Demonstration Program, the Province is also announcing an additional $2 million to open a third intake, which begins immediately.

“We’re excited to continue onward with the Mass Timber Demonstration Program,” said George Chow, Minister of State for Trade and chair of the Mass Timber Advisory Council. “This new intake will further advance B.C.’s mass-timber sector by continuing to grow B.C.’s position as a world leader in the field, while also building the knowledge and talent to keep driving the sector forward here at home.”

Individual projects can receive as much as $500,000 for incremental or one-time costs associated with design development, permitting and construction activities in mass-timber building construction. Expressions of interest will be accepted between July 11, 2022, and Oct. 7, 2022. Successful applicants will be notified by early 2023. The Mass Timber Demonstration Program is delivered by Forestry Innovation Investment on behalf of the Province.

This funding announcement continues the momentum gained from B.C.’s recent trade mission to Europe where the Province signed a mass-timber-focused agreement with Finland, which is a world leader in sustainable forestry. The agreement sees continued collaboration on the research, advancement, development and commercialization focusing on both regions to further develop the forest bioeconomy and the mass-timber sector.

The StrongerBC Economic Plan moves British Columbia forward by tackling the challenges of today while growing an economy that works for everyone. The plan builds on B.C.’s strong economic recovery and works to address two long-standing challenges – inequality and climate change – by closing the skills gap, building resilient communities and helping businesses and people transition to clean-energy solutions. The plan sets two main goals for the province – inclusive growth and clean growth – and puts forward six missions to keep B.C. on track.


Katrine Conroy, Minister of Forests –

“Growing B.C.’s mass timber sector is key part of our government’s vision for the future of forestry – a future where we get more value from every tree harvested. It’s great to see that mass timber will be a key feature in Kelowna International Airport’s expansion project and shows B.C. continues to lead the way on mass timber.”

Colin Basran, mayor, City of Kelowna –

“I’m thrilled to see that the terminal expansion will use mass timber, showcasing the versatility and design capabilities of B.C. lumber, while also contributing to the local economy. As YLW is the gateway to the Okanagan, the choice to use mass timber is an important decision to highlight the characteristics reflective of the region.”

Sam Samaddar, airport director, Kelowna International Airport –

“We would like the thank the Province for investing in YLW and in the use of mass timber for our terminal building expansion. With the increases in both aircraft movement and passenger traffic, this terminal expansion enables the Kelowna International Airport to continue offering the highest level of service.”

Learn More:

To watch a 3D architectural rendering of the Airport Terminal Building Expansion, visit:

To learn more about the Mass Timber Demonstration Program and apply to the program, visit:

To read the Mass Timber Action Plan, visit:

To learn more about the Kelowna International Airport Terminal Building Expansion, visit:

To learn more about the use of mass timber in the Kelowna International Airport expansion, visit:

For more information about the StrongerBC Economic Plan, visit:

Ministry of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation
Media Relations
250 893-3705
Province of British Columbia
For Immediate Release
July 11, 2022    Ministry of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation
Information about mass timber, airport expansion project
Mass timber is engineered for strength by fastening together layers of smaller-dimension wood with glue, dowels or nails. 
This process can deliver as much as seven times the economic value when compared to milling logs for lumber.
Mass timber can match or exceed the structural performance of concrete and steel while reducing carbon emissions by as much as 45%.
Since the components of mass timber are custom manufactured, it can reduce waste and reduce the time it takes to put up a building.
Launched in April 2022, the Mass Timber Action Plan is designed to build demand for mass timber buildings.
In addition, boosting the sector’s skills training through trades programs at post-secondary institutions will help fill an anticipated 4,000 additional job openings in manufacturing, construction and design.
The complete Kelowna International Airport expansion project is expected to open to travellers in 2026.
The project will allow the airport to handle more weekly flights and increase passenger capacity, while simultaneously delivering an improved passenger experience with an expanded security area to minimize time spent in the security screening process.
Using mass timber for the airport expansion project will allow for ongoing flexibility and future reconfigurations by including spacious column-free zones within the terminal’s interior space.
Ministry of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation
Media Relations
250 893-3705
Connect with the Province of B.C. at:

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