The Vancouver Airport Authority has canceled the CORE Program, part of a nearly $7-billion effort designed to upgrade Vancouver International Airport’s infrastructure, citing the direct result of the pandemic’s impact on passenger traffic.

The capital program will halt major projects planned as part of the multi-year effort. with the agency instructing contractor EllisDon Corp. to finalize on-site work by Nov. 30.

“Cancelling this major infrastructure project was a difficult but necessary decision,” Tamara Vrooman, authority president and CEO, says in a statement. “We simply do not need the capacity this project brings for the foreseeable future and need to prioritize our resources elsewhere.”

The authority says the CORE Program, which broke ground in 2018 and was announced as part of 75 projects costing $6.8 billion, was designed when the airport was experiencing double-digit growth.

At the time, there were plans to add a new central utilities building, geo-thermal heating and cooling system and a ground transportation center with a new parking structure. The authority says the airport “no longer has the immediate need for the additional capacity in utilities or parking” and that current systems can support the airport for the foreseeable future.

EllisDon is the lead contractor on both the utilities and parking portions of the project and will work with the airport to halt construction although in a position for restart if needed.

As the airport looks to cut operating and capital costs to preserve financial health, resources will now shift to projects to support the recovery and restart of aviation—including trials for health screening and testing, improved data and technology infrastructure, enhanced cargo facilities and pursuit of projects, such as airfield infrastructure that are best completed while the airport is less busy.

“I want to emphasize that making this decision is one more step in preserving the ongoing financial stability of Vancouver Airport Authority so that we can continue to serve our community and focus our resources on the immediate needs of the airport,” Vrooman says.

PCL Constructors Westcoast is wrapping up the $300-million Pier D International Terminal expansion project, an addition of eight wide-body gates, four bridges and four remote stand operations.