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Comox Valley airports receive service funding boosts from the province

Two airports in the Comox Valley will be getting a combined total funding of over $500,000 to improve their services.

According to an announcement from the province, the Comox Valley Airport will get $374,550 to install solar power and provide electrification of ground support and utility vehicles.

Across the valley, the Courtenay Airpark Association will get $131,450 to build an air ambulance patient transfer area and replace one of its sea plane docks.

The funding comes as part of nearly $20 million invested by the province’s BC Air Access Program. It will support over 40 different projects at 29 air facilities to improve safety, security and passenger facilities.

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Courtenay Airpark Association president Raymond Henault says this is an important investment for them, and it covers around 85 per cent of the air ambulance pad cost and about 90 per cent of the dock.

Henault adds the patient transfer area will benefit the area and improve logistics.

“There are a couple of small helicopter pads here at the air park, but the air ambulance folks when they do come in, they come in here to offload and what happens is they have to park on the main ramp area,” said Henault.

“It does make it a little more difficult for them to safely transfer patients from the ambulance to the helicopter.”

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The sea plane dock is being replaced after about 30 years of existence, according to Henault. He adds it has deteriorated over the years, and the new dock will make the space better and be safer for float plane operators.

At the Comox Valley Airport, CEO Mike Atkins says the funding will help achieve their sustainability commitment.

“While we have already achieved carbon neutral status, these projects will assist us in minimizing offsets and aid in the ongoing incremental steps necessary to reach our goal of net zero emissions.”

Henault adds the funding is very important to the airpark as it is volunteer driven, and it makes them feel closer to the community.

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