Please see below the official press release from the BC Government with a list of recipients and their associated projects as well as an official announcement from the Abbotsford Flying Club outlining how the grant for Abbotsford benefits local pilots and the club at large. Thank you to Stephen Stewart for sending us this story.
For Immediate Release
July 26, 2018
Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure
B.C. Air Access program improves travelling experience
ABBOTSFORD – The British Columbia government is giving grants to 23 regional airports through the B.C. Air Access Program (BCAAP) to make safety and capacity upgrades, and create a better experience for people travelling by air.
“Airports are a vital transportation link across the province and a lifeline for the many smaller communities they serve,” said Claire Trevena, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “These grants make sure airports have the support they need to make important upgrades that would otherwise be too costly.”
Past recipients, like Chetwynd Airport, have seen major improvements thanks to the support. The airport was awarded $1.3 million last year to repave its runway – a safety upgrade that was required to fix cracking pavement and halt the risk of closure.
“Funding from the B.C. Air Access Program made it possible for us to complete crucial safety upgrades at Chetwynd Airport,” said Carol Newsom, chief administrative officer with the District of Chetwynd. “There was a critical need to resurface this runway, so planes and emergency air craft could continue to land safely and our airport could remain open. We’re grateful for the long-term impact this will have on our facility and community.”
Projects can range from minor upgrades, like Bob Quinn Lake Airport’s runway vegetation management, to major advancements, like Qualicum Beach Airport’s terminal expansion. All B.C. aviation facilities can apply for funding each winter, to be awarded the following fiscal year.
“Our airports are critical for B.C. – they are the socio-economic drivers for the communities they serve, and the B.C. Air Access Program offers vital support to these heavily used facilities,” said Heather Bell, chair of the British Columbia Aviation Council. “We’re thrilled that, once again, the Province is providing this welcome funding relief that makes it possible for B.C. airports to upgrade their facilities with important improvements that will benefit the communities, staff and travellers who use them.”
- BCAAP is a cost-share program that provides funding to assist communities with improvements to their aviation infrastructure. This year, the grants total over $5.3 million.
- The program, now in its fourth year, has committed almost $30 million to 50 airports around the province since 2015.
- BCAAP funding can cover up to 75% of the costs for airport infrastructure rehabilitation projects, 50% of the costs for new infrastructure or 60% for blended projects (rehabilitation projects that include new infrastructure).
- B.C. has more than 300 public airports, heliports and water aerodromes, which play a significant role in connecting communities and in supporting the B.C. economy.
- While B.C. is home to 13% of Canada’s population, B.C.’s airports handle 20% of Canada’s airport traffic and nearly a quarter of all aircraft movements (takeoffs and landings).
For more information on the program and recipients, please visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/transportation/funding-engagement-permits/funding-grants/aviation-infrastructure-funding
BC Air Access Program 2018-19 grant recipients
The following airports have been awarded funding grants through the BC Air Access Program to support their proposed aviation infrastructure improvements.
Airport and project:
- Abbotsford - apron and taxiway expansion
- Anahim Lake - fuel system reconfiguration
- Bella Coola - Phase 2 - certification - obstacle removal
- Bob Quinn Lake - vegetation management on runway
- 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 - replace 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
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure
Announcement of Grant Recipients
(A few words from the Abbotsford Flying Club)
July 26th 2018
Today at 12 noon, at an event on the apron at Abbotsford Airport, the Honourable Claire Trevena Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, announced this year’s grant recipients for the B.C. Air Access Program. Twenty three airports across the province are to receive funding. Abbotsford will receive over half a million dollars in support of projects at Chinook Helicopters, Andre’s Welding and the Abbotsford Flying Club hangar operation.
The Abbotsford Flying Club has operated hangars at CYXX since 1991. In 2012 the size of the operation was tripled by taking over two additional buildings from direct airport operation. Since then the AFC has rented hangar space to over 60 tenants and tie down space for ten aircraft. There is always more demand for space than we have places available.
The current lease started in March 2015 and will run for thirty years. Our operation is expected to continue to offer general aviation aircraft space at CYXX until at least 2045.
To ensure this long-term viability, our strategy has been to invest up front into improving the facilities as soon as possible for all tenants and users. We have already put back over $200k into replacing hangar roofs, gutters and downpipes, repairing doors, and other general maintenance.
The next major project will be to re-grade our entire taxiway system, add new improved drainage, and repave completely. This is the project that will be enabled by the BC Air Access Program, and we gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Provincial Government.
The Air Access Program is an investment in the aviation infrastructure of British Columbia. This project will provide a direct benefit to our hangar tenants, and will benefit general aviation by helping to assure the continuing strong presence of general aviation at CYXX. A healthy general aviation sector is an essential basis for the growth of commercial aviation and aerospace activity in Abbotsford and in BC.
This initiative is directly in line with the constitutional aims of the AFC, which include the promotion of aviation in general, the provision of aviation facilities, and to operate aircraft. Very soon after its own formation in 1961, the AFC created the Abbotsford International Airshow, which is a showcase for aerospace and aviation in Canada; and the AFC continues as an integral part of the airshow. More recently, in 2009 to celebrate the centenary of flight in Canada, we created the First Flights for Kids, which continues to grow and has now flown over 1,100 kids in their first flight in a small aircraft. Some have gone on through Air Cadets and pilot training and are now commercial pilots, and some have joined the club.
The taxiway project is planned for later this year. It will strip away all existing taxiways and paving on our hangar lease area, re-grade the area entirely, install a number of new surface water drains, and then pave new taxiways, hangar access, and tie-down places.
Questions - contact: Steve Stewart, tel. 604 556 8260 firstname.lastname@example.org