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B.C.’s rural airport operators want more federal money for airport projects

Jun 03, 2009, TRAIL, B.C. (Source: CP, By Erin Handy) - The federal government needs to provide more money for community airport projects because the number of facilities requiring the cash has tripled in the last 14 years, say rural airport operators.


June 3, 2009
By Carey Fredericks

Jun 03, 2009, TRAIL, B.C. (Source: CP, By Erin Handy) – The federal government needs to provide more money for community airport projects because the number of facilities requiring the cash has tripled in the last 14 years, say rural airport operators.

MP Alex Atamanenko has taken up the cause as a third review of the federal funding initiative, the Airside Capital Assistance Program, gets underway.

“The funding for ACAP, initially set at $35 million annually, is no longer realistic since the number of eligible airports has risen from 71 in 1995 to more than 200 today,'' Atamanenko wrote in a letter to Transport Minister John Baird.

The program has been through two reviews, with a hike of only $3 million, which is earmarked to buy fire trucks.

Shawn Sutherland, manager of the Castlegar airport, said the costs of construction and asphalt pavement alone have jumped dramatically since 1995.

Sutherland also cited the costs associated with moving safety regulation responsibilities from federal inspectors to local operators and “the proliferation of safety regulations.''