People travelling through British Columbia will experience improved safety and convenience at more than a dozen community airports this year, thanks to the latest round of B.C. Air Access Program (BCAAP) grants.
Benefits will range from runway resurfacing and terminal building expansions to increased medevac services, weather detection systems and fire protection upgrades. This year, grants were awarded to 16 regional airports for 21 different improvement projects.
“Our local community airports rely on funding to complete crucial safety and infrastructure upgrades,” said Claire Trevena, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “We’re committed to these regional grants to make travel better for people throughout our province.”
The program is in its fifth year, and this year’s grants total nearly $8 million. Seven of the 16 facilities will receive funding for the first time this year. Many are located in remote northern communities that struggle to make needed improvements without support. Applicants are assessed on many factors, including demonstrated need, safety and travel benefits, environmental improvements, links to long-term vision and community support.
This year’s recipients have planned projects that will improve airport safety, support medevac and wildfire suppression services, improve economic benefits for the communities that surround them, and reduce environmental risks and greenhouse gas emissions.
“Our airports are vital for B.C. and the people who rely on them. We are thrilled that the Province is, once again, dedicating funding to support these heavily used facilities and make improvements possible,” said Heather Bell, chair, BC Aviation Council. “We all need to work together to ensure future infrastructure demands are covered as well as the human resources required to operate these critical facilities.”
- The BCAAP is a cost-share program that provides funding to assist communities with improvements to their aviation infrastructure.
- The program, now in its fifth year, has committed nearly $40 million to 57 airports throughout the province since 2015.
- BCAAP funding can cover:
- up to 75% of the costs for airside projects and critical infrastructure upgrades, such as hazard beacons;
- 60% of the costs for transitional infrastructure, such as terminal buildings or perimeter fencing; and
- 50% of the costs for groundside infrastructure, such as parking lot upgrades.
- B.C. has more than 300 public airports, heliports and water aerodromes, which play a significant role in connecting communities and in supporting the B.C. economy.
- While B.C. is home to 13% of Canada’s population, B.C.’s airports handle 20% of Canada’s airport traffic and nearly a quarter of all takeoffs and landings.
For more information on the program and recipients, visit:
A backgrounder follows with the full list of this year’s grant recipients.