A new departure lounge has opened at Waterloo International Airport Pi News

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A new departure lounge at Waterloo International Airport officially opened Tuesday as the airport’s ongoing expansion continues to take shape.

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Waterloo Region says the expanded 20,000-square-foot lounge has seating for 500 people and more space for visitors to relax while waiting to board.

Another phase of expansion began this month as the terminal building was remodeled in a move to add self-service kiosks and general-use flight counters, along with a third security line planned to speed up screening.

Additionally, a new baggage system will be added that will feature self-service drop-off and an expanded sorting area.

These changes will be completed next spring.

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Airport upgrades will cost taxpayers $30 million to complete as part of the region’s 20-year master plan for the facility.

The fast-growing airport will see half a million passengers pass through its runways this year.

“Since this expansion plan took effect in 2017, our airport has experienced impressive growth — not only in size and passenger numbers — but also in overall jobs and economic impact,” said Regional President Karen Redman.

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