The Smithers Airport Modernization Project’s Budget has increased by over $314,000.

Council approved the new budget of over 8.4 million at a special meeting today. They also awarded the construction contract to Kelowna based Vector Projects Group for over $7 million.

Airport Manager Rob Blackburn says part of the reason for the increase is that all the construction bids came in over budget.

“Part in parcel with that is that council also voted to add another part of the project to complete the north end of the building that added approximately another $500,000 dollars to the project.”

Staff have indicated that the increase in the budget can be covered by grants and the Airport Operating Surplus.

Blackburn says work is expected to start in a few weeks.