Eleven regional airports in British Columbia receiving up to $11.7 million to maintain regional connectivity and jobs

Targeted Government of Canada support will be provided by Western Economic Diversification Canada

VANCOUVER, BC, July 30, 2021 /CNW/ – Regional air transportation is crucial to ensure merchandise circulates, supply chains are maintained, and regional economic growth continues. The pandemic has had major impacts on regional air transportation ecosystems, affecting economies, communities, and local businesses.

BC's regional airports get an economic boost (CNW Group/Western Economic Diversification Canada)
BC’s regional airports get an economic boost (CNW Group/Western Economic Diversification Canada)

The Government of Canada’s Regional Air Transportation Initiative (RATI), launched in March 2021, fosters access to air transportation and supports regional ecosystems. In particular, it enables regional air carriers and airports to remain operational in these difficult times and to continue to contribute to regional economic growth, while adapting to new post-COVID-19 realities and requirements.

B.C. airports to benefit from funding

With this in mind, Terry Beech, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard and to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages (B.C.), on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada, announced $11,721,721 in RATI funding for 11 regional airports in B.C.

This funding will enable these airports to overcome challenges that were brought on by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Regional air transportation is key to the economic development of communities and businesses across Canada. Since it helps draw Canadians to rural and remote communities to work and raise their families, while also providing reliable connectivity with urban centres, it plays a crucial role in a just, inclusive recovery for all, throughout the country.

Quotes

“It is important to protect our regional air transportation for the thousands of workers employed by this sector and for the many businesses and communities that depend on it. Air connectivity makes our regions accessible to Canadians who want to settle there and is key in moving our businesses’ products to their destination markets. That’s why, as part of our plan for a strong economic recovery, our government supports this connectivity, indispensable to healthy, inclusive growth.”

–       The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada

“Regional airports and infrastructure are critical components of the B.C. economy, both for trade and for the travel that many Canadians are starting to look forward to as we emerge from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. This funding will go a long way towards getting these assets back on their feet and ready to deliver on the needs of British Columbians as we look towards a brighter future.”

–       Terry Beech, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard and to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages (B.C.)

“Victoria International Airport is a vital economic generator for the Greater Victoria Region. The pandemic has been financially devastating to the airport industry and aviation sector as a whole. This funding announcement is welcome news which will assist YYJ to reinstate lost air service, attract new air service, build passenger demand, and continue to operate a safe and efficient airport with world class safety and health standards. Air connectivity is a key to economic prosperity and we look forward to help building back the visitor economy.”  

–       Geoff Dickson, President and CEO, Victoria Airport Authority

“We are grateful for this funding. It is essential to help continue our operations and ensure that we continue to be the gateway to Northern British Columbia. The Prince George Airport is a hub for not only passenger services but also medevac, RCMP, aerial search and rescue, and wildfire fighting services for Northern and remote communities.”

–       Gordon Duke, President and CEO, Prince George Airport Authority

Projects being funded:

Legal NameCityFunding
Prince Rupert Airport AuthorityPrince Rupert$503,427
Comox Valley Airport CommissionComox$1,094,406
Victoria Airport AuthoritySidney$2,998,672
Central Coast Regional DistrictBella Coola$328,322
Prince George Airport Authority Inc.Prince George$1,297,965
Kamloops Airport Authority SocietyKamloops$1,256,378
North Peace Airport SocietyFort St. John$1,212,750
The Corporation of the Town of GoldenGolden$120,000
Terrace-Kitimat Airport SocietyTerrace$1,183,053
Nanaimo Airport CommissionCassidy$1,380,916
Nanaimo Port AuthorityNanaimo$345,832
Total:$11,721,721

Quick facts

  • The RATI, administered by the regional development agencies (RDAs), has a national budget of $206 million.
  • The Initiative supports regional air ecosystems—which include regional air carriers and airports, as well as small and medium-sized enterprises and non-profit organizations—in developing and implementing enhanced services for improved regional connectivity.
  • The RATI complements measures implemented by Transport Canada.

Associated links

Limited visual cues and runway conditions contributed to runway excursion of passenger aircraft in Terrace, BC

Richmond, British Columbia, 22 July 2021 — In its investigation report (A20P0013) released today, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) found that limited visual cues due to falling snow and a snow-covered runway contributed to the 2020 runway excursion involving a WestJet Encore De Havilland of Canada Ltd. DHC-8-402 in Terrace, British Columbia.

The occurrence aircraft on Runway 33 at Terrace Airport. Image taken approximately 9 hours after the occurrence (Source: Terrace Airport)

On 31 January 2020, a De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Ltd. DHC-8-402 aircraft was conducting WestJet Encore flight WEN3107 from Vancouver, BC to Terrace, BC with four crew members and 43 passengers on board. During the landing roll, the aircraft drifted left from the snow-cleared area of the runway and the left main landing gear exited the runway surface, travelling for approximately 400 feet before returning to the runway. During the runway excursion, the aircraft’s nose landing gear collapsed. The aircraft came to a stop in the centre of the runway. The passengers were transported to the airport terminal by bus approximately 30 minutes after landing. No injuries were reported. The damage to the aircraft included the collapsed nose landing gear and damaged right propeller blades.

The investigation found that, given the falling snow and the snow-covered runway, there were limited visual cues available to the flight crew, which decreased their ability to accurately judge the aircraft’s lateral position once it was beyond the runway threshold. Snow clearing operations cleared the centre 100 feet of the runway, which resulted in windrows that were approximately 18 inches high along the edges of the cleared area. This reduced the pilot’s lateral maneuvering room during the landing.

It was also determined that the aircraft initially touched down 10 feet left of the centreline due to control inputs and variable wind conditions and, while the aircraft was still in a light weight-on-wheels condition, a gust contributed to a further deviation to the left until the left main landing gear came into contact with the windrow. As a result, the aircraft was pulled to the left and travelled through the uncleared portion of the runway. During the runway excursion, snow and ice became packed in the nose landing gear bay and caused structural deformation. Consequently, the nose landing gear was no longer being held in place and collapsed rearward into the fuselage, causing substantial damage to the aircraft.

Finally, the investigation also determined that, if aircraft operators do not provide pilots with all the possible tools and relevant information to assess runway suitability for landing, pilots may not evaluate all potential threats and may make decisions based on incomplete or conflicting information.

Following the occurrence, WestJet Encore issued a revision to the Quick Reference Handbook on 14 February 2020 that included changes to contaminated runway operations. The Terrace-Kitimat Airport Society issued a memo informing staff of changes to its Winter Maintenance Plan, which aligned the procedures with Issue 04 of Transport Canada’s Advisory Circular 302-013: Airport Winter Maintenance and Planning.

See the investigation page for more information.

Skip the long drive by flying out to your B.C. destination this summer

Thanks to CW

7 July 2021

Central Mountain Air is running non-stop flights from Vancouver to Vancouver Island, the Cariboo region, the Okanagan Valley, and Central B.C.

central-mountain-air-1Kelowna, B.C.Central Mountain Air

Really want to make a great escape from the city but NOT looking forward to that long car ride in the hot summer heat? Opt to hop on a plane to your getaway spot instead!

Now that non-essential travel within B.C. is encouraged again, Vancouverites can book inter-provincial non-stop flights with Central Mountain Air for a quick and affordable way to get around the province this year.

Departing from the South Terminal at Vancouver International Airport (YVR), passengers can fly direct from Vancouver to Campbell River, Quesnel, Kamloops, Kelowna, and Prince George. 

Then, from Prince George, you can also fly further up Northern B.C. with routes to Fort. St. John, Fort Nelson, and Terrace.  


Campbell River, B.C. Photo: Central Mountain Air.

Here’s a quick primer of the cities that Central Mountain Air currently flies to from Vancouver.  

  • On the east coast of Vancouver Island, the oceanside community of Campbell River and the Discovery Islands are renowned for its spectacular mountains, west coast woodlands, Elk Falls Provincial Park and Suspension Bridge, whale watching, and salmon fishing at Discovery Pier.
     
  • Located along a pivotal mining trail of the Cariboo Gold Rush, Quesnel is home to B.C. heritage spots such as the Alexander Mackenzie hiking trail and the original 1867 Hudson’s Bay Company Trading Post in Riverfront Park.
     
  • The sunny canyon city of Kamloops in B.C.’s Interior is a four-season playground with long summers for hiking, biking, and water adventures. Go kayaking on one of Kamloops’ 100+ lakes and embark on outdoor adventures at Sun Peaks Resort.
     
  • Located on the eastern shore of Okanagan Lake, Kelowna is the Okanagan Valley’s largest city and is known for local vineyards and wineries, sandy beaches, surrounding provincial parks, and bustling downtown area — making it the perfect destination for urban and rural experiences.
     
  • The largest city in Northern B.C, Prince George is full of opportunities for outdoor recreation, from mountain biking through pristine rainforests to fishing in the endless network of streams, lakes, and rivers. It’s also the basecamp for venturing into Northeastern B.C. and Northwestern B.C. towards Fort St. John, Fort Nelson, and Terrace.  


Fly with CMA! Photo: Central Mountain Air.

Connecting B.C. communities with ease and convenience since 1987, the independent Western Canadian airline is giving local B.C. residents a chance to go back to travelling and exploring their backyard. 

And, to further ensure that you can book your flight with confidence, Central Mountain Air has extended their COVID-19 flexible booking and cancellation policy until July 31st for travel through to November 7th, so you can have peace of mind knowing you can make changes to your flight reservation if you need to. ⁠

For more info, visit flycma.com/schedule.