Mark_D. From Canada, joined Aug 2001, 1447 posts, RR: 5 Reply 7, posted (9 years 10 months 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 1437 times:
YUL332LX-- I was only pointing out how notorious the decision was when it was taken 7 years ago.
It was bascially only "notorious" for those earning their livelihoods at the airport, and those promoting or dependent upon or otherwise involved with industrial park development and resulting local tax revenue from say about Blainville to St. Jerome. And of course most notbaly for the original farmers who nearly thirty years earlier had their farmland expropriated very much against their will in the first place, and who then had to kind of sit and lament yet one more time about all that upheaval being so pointless and wasteful in the wake of Mirabel for the forseeable future anyway getting mothballed relative to the initial big-time passenger ops that it was initially intended for.
So altogether a few tens of thousands of people directly or indirectly negatively affected, and among whom it was really only poignant and sad for those farmers and their family members, say about a thousand people or so.
While YUL for its part, despite some crappy and unsettling "left-hand-doesn't-know-what-the-right-hand-is-doing" administrative malaise through the late '90s until about mid-2001, is really metamorphosing nicely and at a good clip now. Only about fifteen more months to go until the Int'l pier and Customs Hall are fully running and it stops being "an airport with big problems and inconveniences" anymore. Even the remaining "little problems" outside of that are getting serious attention or construction action presently -- that relocation of the AC domestic check-in space this summer for instance , is I think quite a pleasant little surprise. I kind of thought they'd only get around to that in about 2006 but here they are getting around to it this year instead. And getting better road access to and from Autoroute 20 is being lobbied heavily nowadays even though of course that one is way more of ADM's hands, and with Transports Québec budget issues probably actually won't get tended to for another couple years' or so at the earliest.
So on the whole YUL is getting there, and is in even in some ways already working and looking like a big-city airport the way it should be. The food and retail court --in itself likely to get way bigger and better by the end of this year once AC's domestic counters get moved and a new hallway opened to accommodate them-- is already quite a pleasant and cozy little 'small town' environment right now, especially after about 1pm once the Jazz Bar opens up and that nice music floats through most of the concourse after the lunch-hour crowd has tapered off. The remodeling of the main restaurant just before Christmas seems to have been a big success indeed.
And the extra concourse and check-in space has come in very handy even as recently as this past Saturday, after that security scare at domestic check-in when flights were put on hold for a few hours and several hundred people spilled into the outside lineup area while it all got sorted out. Would have been a huge mess had that kind of thing happened there as little as eighteen months ago, but now it's able to handle such medium-level contingencies with relative ease, the way any big-city airport should.