Abbotsford Mayor Henry Braun (left) speaks on the funds for airport infrastructure announced Thursday by Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Claire Trevena, alongside Abbotsford South MLA Darryl Plecas. Dustin Godfrey/Abbotsford News

Province kicks in $5M for B.C. airport improvements

Money, going to 23 communities, will fund things like taxiway improvements and obstacle removal

The provincial government is kicking in over $5 million toward upgrades for airports across B.C., the minister of transportation and infrastructure announced in Abbotsford on Thursday.

The funds are coming through the government’s B.C. Air Access program, which B.C. Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Claire Trevena said is focusing on small communities this year.

“More than $5 million is going to be invested all around B.C. between 50 per cent and 75 per cent share either (with) local governments or private sector,” Trevena said. “What it is is investing in programs, whether it is removing obstacles, like helping out an airport remove trees that might be blocking a sightline, or whether it’s doing more, so bigger investments in runways and so on.”

Though work on airports is typically federal jurisdiction, the funds from the province are appreciated, said Henry Braun, mayor of Abbotsford, where the airport is getting $500,000 for apron and taxiway expansions.

“It’s always nice when B.C. Aviation Council and the province come alongside and help, because we can’t do everything out of tax dollars or out of the airport cash flow, either.”

Trevena said the provincial government kicks in for B.C.’s airports, and has since the B.C. Air Access program’s inception in 2015, knowing the economic impact of maintaining airports is felt throughout B.C.

“There’s no question that aviation is key to our province, whether it is through trade, whether it is through travel, or whether it is through industry,” Trevena said. “Dollars are always tight everywhere. What we try and do is leverage, so it’s joint money. We’re investing, the feds will be investing, the local governments will be investing, the private sector, we can hear today, are investing.”

This year’s total allotment of $5.4 million is going to 23 communities:

  • Abbotsford – Apron and taxiway expansion
  • Anahim Lake – Fuel system reconfiguration
  • Bella Coola – Phase 2, certification, obstacle removal
  • Comox – Fuel tank truck route
  • Comox – Airfield lighting upgrade
  • Dease Lake – Brush cutting and installation of washroom facilities
  • Delta (Boundary Bay) – Taxiway rehabilitation
  • Fairmont Hot Springs – Replcae emergency vehicle gate and radios
  • Fraser Lake – New windsocks, line painting and signage
  • Grand Forks – Water main/fire flows rehabilitation
  • Kamloops (float plane dock) – Float plane dock rehabilitation
  • Langley – Solar lighting on runway
  • Nelson (Norman Stibbs) – Fuel pump replacement
  • 108 Mile Ranch – Automated weather system replacement
  • Osoyoos – Runway extension and apron improvements
  • Qualicum Beach – Terminal expansion and rehabilitation
  • Qualicum Beach – Long-term parking
  • Quesnel – Runway lighting replacement
  • Salmon Arm – Relocate and upgrade taxiway
  • Stewart – Runway rehabilitation
  • Telegraph Creek – Runway rehabilitation, GPS and lighting
  • Tofino (Long Beach) – Terminal pavement extension
  • Valemount – Lighting rehabilitation
  • Vanderhoof – Apron expansion

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Dustin Godfrey | Reporter

@dustinrgodfrey

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