Improvements to the Vernon Regional Airport are ready to take-off, thanks to a grant from the BC government.
MLA Eric Foster announced funding of $823,700 as part of runway repaving and other upgrades.
“The upgrades will include paving the entire surface and doing some stabilization work. It will also encompass a number of other upgrades that will increase the safety and efficiency of the runway,” Foster told a news conference at the airport on Tronson Road.
Photo: Vernon-Monashee MLA Eric Foster announces funding for Vernon Airport (Pete McIntyre/Kiss FM)
Mayor Akbal Mund says the airport is important to the local economy.
“Kal Tire uses this airport quite religiously, up to 6 or 7 flights a day, so it’s important for our business sector to bring clients in and out. Also there’s other planes that land here,” Mund told Kiss FM and other media.
The City’s airport master plan project manager, Roy Nuriel, says about 130 planes, jets or helicopters are based at the facility, with over 7,500 landings and more than 15,000 movements in 2014.
Nuriel says the upgrades will be completed this year, and will require a closure of the runway for an period to be determined by Transport Canada.
This year’s work is phase one of possibly three phases over the next 20 years, projected to cost $2.4 million.
Last year, City council rejected plans to extend the runway, which could have allowed for more types of planes to use the facility.