The Long Beach Airport in Tofino and the Courtenay Airpark will soon be getting some infrastructure upgrades as the province announces funding for dozens of airports across B.C.
As part of B.C.’s COVID-19 economic recovery plan and B.C. Air Access Program grants, the province is providing $9.28 million to enhance airport infrastructure like upgraded taxi lanes, new airside paving and green building projects.
The airports in Tofino and Courtenay are just two out of 27 regional airports that will be receiving funding, as the province teams up with the federal government to develop a “coordinated approach” to support the sector.
“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 Rob Fleming, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure.
“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.”
The island will be receiving nearly $600,000 in funding with $431,025 allocated for Tofino’s Long Beach Airport; the Courtenay Airpark will see $159,446 for upgrades.
“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.”
B.C. has more than 300 public airports, heliports and water aerodromes. Through the grant program, the government has committed over $32.5 million to 51 airports since 2017. The province says applicants are assessed based on need, safety, environmental improvements and essential access.
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.