Victoria's airport is getting a $19.4-million makeover.

The airport authority announced Tuesday that in response to rising passenger levels, the money will be spent over the next 27 months to expand the airport's lower passenger departure lounge.

The expansion project will double the size of the lounge as well as install dedicated aircraft gates and covered walkways for passengers who currently have to walk across the tarmac to board.

The money will also make way for new washrooms, restaurants and retail shops in the lounge.

The upgrades are in response to a record-breaking 2017 that saw 1,934,832 passengers use the airport.

"These improvements will not only improve overall safety and operations but will also enhance the airport experience for our customers by providing additional seating, new accessibility considerations and enhanced concessions," said Geoff Dickson, Victoria Airport Authority's President and CEO.

As construction gets underway, passengers will see hoarding walls and temporary pathways to and from planes.

McFarlane Biggar Architects, based in Vancouver, has been selected to design the expansion and Victoria-based Durwest Construction Management will oversee the upgrades.