The City of Powell River has received an $8 million grant from the Government of Canada to invest in critical improvements at the Powell River Airport.
According to a city news release, Transport Canada’s Airports Capital Assistance Program grant will fully fund several key investments identified in the 2020 Powell River Airport Master Plan which provides a 25-year vision for development. of the airport.
The city is one of eight communities to receive funding for safe airport operations for passengers, crew and airport workers. The statement said the runway expansion is necessary not only to meet strategic planning, technical and regulatory requirements, but is also critical to the region’s continued economic resilience.
“This ensures the long-term viability of the airport and expands opportunities to attract new investment in land surrounding the runway which is already underway,” said outgoing Mayor Dave Formosa. “Our airport is crucial to the city’s economic development, given Powell River’s location on the Sunshine Coast. We are lucky that the grant covers 100% of the cost of the project.
The statement said the existing runway pavement was nearly 40 years old and needed rehabilitation and re-profiling to meet the latest federal certification and safety standards.
Major improvements will include a renewed surface and the extension of the track to a possible 1,219 meters (4,000 feet), as well as the replacement of most of the track lighting. Other works include improving the central crown for better drainage and to reduce puddling.
“The funding will also solve the slope issue which will allow commercial passenger carriers and cargo planes to operate at greater capacity,” said City Transportation Manager Cam Reed.
The cost estimate includes general construction, civil and electrical works, as well as construction engineering and administration, and a 10% contingency.
“Work is tentatively expected to begin in 2023, based on Transport Canada priorities,” Reed said. “Significant disruption to airport operations and extended runway closures can be expected during construction. However, engagement with agencies and businesses has already begun to ensure these are mitigated and community service is supported to the greatest extent possible.