This has been a funding partnership of Northern Development
Trio of remote communities along the Yellowhead Highway upgrade their airports
Baker Airport in Burns Lake graded, re-paved and painted the runway.
In Northern B.C., where transportation is often a challenge, airports serve as key infrastructure nodes that support local economic development, community vitality and human connections. That is why Northern Development said ‘yes’ to funding airport upgrades in three Highway 16 communities. Between 2014 and 2016, the Trust invested $476,816.92 into airport projects in Prince Rupert, Fraser Lake and Burns Lake.
The concept of community vitality, a community’s ability to sustain itself and provide opportunities for its residents, is in Northern B.C. closely connected with the importance of functional airports. Accessing resources in other places is necessary for the well-being of residents as they seek self-improvement, services and experiences not available in their own community.
“To the community of Burns Lake and surrounding rural residents, the Baker Airport serves as both a beneficial tool for the local economy and a lifeline in the event of a serious emergency,” said Mayor Dolores Funk of Burns Lake. “Since its establishment, it has served as a nexus for travelers, businesspeople, and most importantly, a key point of operations for forest fire suppression and medical evacuations. It is an indispensable asset for the entire Lakes District and a vital part of life in our northern region.”
All three airports are essential lifelines for the communities they serve. These facilities provide access for medi-vac services and allow individuals to be quickly brought to medical centres in Vancouver when time is most crucial. Reliable airports are also necessary for the use of spotter aircraft during search and rescue operations. Response to environmental emergencies, such as wildfires, also require airports to bring in equipment and for refueling waterbombers and planes that drop fire retardant
Northern Development supports communities as they strive to strengthen their local economies and improve accessibility to the remainder of the province. Having functional and up-to-date airport facilities is integral to the well-being of the people and environment in the area they serve.
Past and present pilots were among the 70 people that attended the open house at Fraser Lake Airport.