Passenger numbers in B.C.'s northeast takeoff

This has been a funding partnership of Northern Development

A 53% increase in passengers over 5 years encourages nearly $5M in upgrades to Fort St. John Airport

New high efficiency lights installed in the parking lot.

When cities grow, their infrastructure needs to keep pace. Such is the case with North Peace Regional Airport in Fort St. John. In 2013, it was forecasted that the population in Fort St. John would increase by 40% in the following decade and the region was expected to follow a similar trend. This growth encouraged nearly $5 million in expansions and upgrades to the North Peace Regional Airport between 2013 and 2016. Northern Development provided more than $630,000 in funding for a total of five projects to the airport’s growth.

In 2013, WestJet introduced regular service to the North Peace Airport and overall passengers rapidly increased. The price of airfare to the city was reduced, and even more passengers were attracted to the airport. In 2014 more passengers were flying to and from Fort St. John than their Alberta neighbor of Grande Prairie, who has a population of 63,000 compared with Fort St. John’s of 21,000. By 2016, the passenger load had increased by 80,000 people to 230,000 in just five years.

“The North Peace Regional Airport provides significant economic benefit to industry and community. The ability to access direct flights with international airlines to major centres not only benefits business but adds to the livability of our community and provides endless travel options,” said Lori Ackerman, Mayor of Fort St. John. “The significant upgrades supported by Northern Development Initiative Trust have allowed the North Peace Regional Airport to enhance service and manage dramatic increases in air travel. These improvements have allowed the North Peace Airport Society to implement projects that support the substantial increase in air travel to and from our region. The number of travelers is only expected to grow as economic opportunities in the area increase.”

To ensure a positive experience for the tens of thousands of people utilizing the airport, the North Peace Airport Society significantly improved their parking facilities. In just four years they did two parking lot expansions, which made space for a total of 275 more vehicles, 100 more rental cars and three bus lanes. A duo of other projects was also completed in the parking lot: LED lights were installed to increase visibility and reduce operational costs and the parking system was upgraded to meet chip and PIN standards for fraud protection.

North Peace Regional Airport parking lot.

Inside terminal upgrades were completed between 2014 and 2016. Existing washrooms were improved and a new washroom was built in the screening area. Spaces were furnished with new furniture, additional electrical outlets were installed for charging devices and the business space area was increased.

Funding for these five projects came from Northern Development’s Economic Diversification Infrastructure program. This program provides grant funding to support major infrastructure projects in order to strengthen the local economy.

High efficiency lights along the road.

Economic Diversification Infrastructure

The Economic Diversification Infrastructure program is no longer available. However, your project may still be eligible under one of our NEW programs.

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