A grant worth $559,420 from the B.C. Government will be shared among three West Kootenay airports to help upgrade the infrastructure.
The Province said the Nelson Norman Stibbs Airport, the Trail Regional Airport, and the West Kootenay Regional Airport are included among 27 other regional airports that are set to receive a share of $9.28 million in grants.
Those airports and the provincial and federal governments have partnered to develop a coordinated approach to support the travel sector which has seen severe impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We know the pandemic has caused financial stress for many industries and significantly impacted our aviation sector throughout B.C., including our community airports,” said Rob Fleming, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “But we’re also looking to better days ahead, post-pandemic. That’s why we’re taking action to support communities with important infrastructure upgrades so we can boost jobs, tourism, and trade that will give us a head start with B.C.’s economic recovery.”
In the Kootenays specifically, four airports will get a combined total of $618,835 to pay for upgrades:
- Nelson (Norman Stibbs) Airport
- Trail Regional Airport
- West Kootenay Regional Airport
- Fairmont Hot Springs Airport
The Nelson Norman Stibbs Airport will use its funding to pay for the repair of existing pavement and fencing, and the installation of a new gate.
“Nelson’s Norman Stibbs Airfield plays a critical role in regional medical evacuation and wildfire response, as well as provides locals and tourists with access to the wilderness, which contributes to our local tourism businesses,” said Brittny Anderson, MLA for Nelson-Creston. “The City of Nelson has been working hard to ensure the airfield is able to operate in a safe and reliable way and it’s good to see that work being supported.”
According to the Provincial Government, the grants come from the B.C. Air Access Program, which is a cost-share program that provides funding to improve airport infrastructure. This can include safety improvements, increased economic opportunities, and addressing environmental concerns.
Through this program, the B.C. Government has given over $32.5 million to 51 airports since 2017.