A aerial view of eastern Courtenay, with the airpark visible next to the Courtenay River estuary. (Vista Radio file photo)
The Courtenay Airpark is getting a facelift.
The airpark is sharing $590,471 in provincial funding with the Long Beach Airport (Tofino) for upgrades.
The money will go towards:
- Courtenay Airpark – $159,446, for asphalt repairs on the runway, ramp and float plane ramp
- Long Beach Airport (Tofino) – $431,025, for its fire protection improvement project
The funding is part of B.C.’s COVID-19 economic recovery plan and will come from Air Access Program grants.
The B.C. Air Access Program, now in its seventh year, is a cost-share program that provides funding to assist communities with improvements to their airport infrastructure that would otherwise be difficult or impossible to achieve.
This can include funds to support safety improvements, increase economic opportunities and address environmental concerns.
“This funding support makes a real difference in communities, especially after a year like 2020,” said Ronna-Rae Leonard, MLA for Courtenay-Comox. “The Courtenay Airpark is a favourite for people out enjoying a walk and wanting to see small aircraft up close. These repairs will help make sure everyone in the air and on the ground is able to enjoy the experience safely.”
Overall, 27 regional airports across B.C. are sharing $9.28 million to enhance local airport infrastructure with initiatives like upgraded taxi lanes, new airside paving and green building projects.
“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 B.C. transportation minister, Rob Fleming.
“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.”
B.C. has more than 300 public airports, heliports and water aerodromes.
Through the grant program, government has committed over $32.5 million to 51 airports since 2017. Applicants are assessed based on need, safety, environmental improvements and essential access.
“Our regional airports keep us interconnected, and supporting these facilities helps our communities to thrive, especially at a time when we are all facing so many challenges,” said John Jack, chair, Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District Board of Directors. “We are glad to share in this collaborative approach to make sure we have the resources we all need for safe travel.”
This funding is in addition to the Province’s recent announcement of $16.5 million for airports that provide medical evacuation services, to help maintain their operations.