December 13, 2023

Federal funding to strengthen safety, efficiency at 8 BC airports

Jon Robinson

Minister of Transport, Pablo Rodriguez, on December 5 outline a planned investment by the Government of Canada to improve the safety and efficiency of eight airports in British Columbia.

“Our government knows that local and regional airports provide essential services to Canadians and local businesses,” said Rodriguez. “We’re investing in our local airports to build safer, healthier, and stronger communities across Canada.”

Through Transport Canada’s Airports Capital Assistance Program, the eight airports are receiving more than $12 million in new funding for projects and equipment that will help maintain safe airport operations for passengers, crews, and airport workers.

The airports receiving funding and specific projects include: Bella Bella Campbell Island Airport to improve Runway 13-31 end safety area, $5,527,913; Campbell River Airport to purchase a 4 x 4 plow truck, $558,375; Castlegar, West Kootenay Regional Airport to rehabilitate and expand the taxiway and Apron 5, $2,359,820; Kamloops Airport to rehabilitate Apron 1, $2,091,362; Nanaimo Airport to purchase a loader, $346,860; Quesnel Regional Airport to purchase a sweeper, $491,500; Terrace-Kitimat, Northwest Regional Airport to replace omni-directional approach lights on Runway 15, $108,599; and Tofino-Long Beach Airport to purchase a loader, $533,631.

The runway improvements in Bella Bella include the removal of rock and terrain that intrude into the takeoff and landing airspace, explains Transport Canada, which is especially important should there be a runway excursion. The equipment in Campbell River, Nanaimo, Quesnel, and Tofino-Long Beach will be used in maintaining aircraft movement surfaces and for the removal and control of ice and snow from airside surfaces such as runways, taxiways and the apron.

The taxiway expansion project in Castlegar will allow for more space between aircraft, explains Transport Canada, resulting in greater efficiency and safety when more than one aircraft is present. Multiple aircraft activity can occur in situations during aerial fire suppression activities directed by the provincial Forestry Air Tanker Base located in Castlegar, allowing the tankers to land and refill their water supply more quickly.

The replacement of omni-directional approach lights with LED in Terrace-Kitimat will result in brighter lights and cost savings. The rehabilitation of Apron 1 in Kamloops will repair or replace selected panels, with subsurface improvements for the concrete areas, and mill/pave of 100 mm for the asphalt areas.

Since the Airports Capital Assistance Program started in 1995, the Government of Canada has invested over $1.26 billion for 1,268 projects at 201 local, regional and National Airports System airports across the country.

(Image: Nanaimo Airport)