Major changes are coming to the Sault Ste. Marie airport, as part of multi-million dollar project.
Highlights of the major expansion include the potential of a hotel being built in the area.
"Somebody wants to take an early 6 a.m. flight and not get up extremely early for it, well you’ll be able to," said Terry Bos, President and CEO of the Sault Ste. Marie Airport Development Corporation.
The planned project also includes upgrades to amenities, infrastructure improvements and a redesigned parking lot.
"Part of that, is because the hotel will be built right across from the airport, taking up some of the current parking lot space," he said.
Last August, the federal government invested $1.8 million into the expansion, while the city has also agreed to support the project.
Bos says they’re now just waiting on provincial backing.
"There's been really no hiccups when it comes to that, so we're very hopeful that we'll see an approval hopefully soon," said Bos.
The Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce says it’s also very excited for the possibility of an airport hotel.
"It really is significant in terms of its focus on being able to generate an economic engine," said Rory Ring, Chamber of Commerce CEO. "It will certainly aid in expanding on the existing businesses, like JD Aero that are there."
Around 100 jobs are estimated to be created, in the short-term.
With further expansion, Ring believes more could be on the way.
"That will help support training at JD Aero for the airline pilots again and that can only mean a greater impact, that those folks may actually want to stay and live here," he said.
For Bos, he hopes the expansion will be able to attract a new flight-training operation to the Sault.
He adds that work to the infrastructure is expected to be complete by March 2021.