In 2006, Town of Smithers received a $1,079,868 grant and a $281,132 loan from Northern Development through the Economic Diversification Infrastructure program towards this $5,460,561 project. This has been a funding partnership of Town of Smithers, Northern Development, Government of Canada, Province of British Columbia, and Transportation Partnerships Initiative BC
2012- The Town of Smithers undertook a significant infrastructure project in 2006 to extend the runway at the Smithers Regional Airport from 5,000 feet to 7,500 feet. Extending the runway enables a regular commuter jet service to Smithers, supporting development of both the regional tourism industry including the Hudson Bay Moutain Ski Resort as well as increased access to the region for the developing mining sector.
Skiers, snowboarders, tourists, regional residents, and business people, and investors all stand to benefit from this expansion as the growth of infrastructure allows for greater capacity for the transportation of people and goods in and out of the region. The total budget for this project exceeded $5 million, of which Northern Development contributed $1.3 million in grant funding to the expansion upgrades to the airport infrastructure including road building, equipment purchase and rental, engineering, and project management.
"These airport improvements help ensure Smithers has the up-to-date infrastructure necessary to support the mining industry's heavy investment in the region - the runway extension at the airport also opens the door to future jet service for Smithers."Cress Farrow, former Mayor, Town of Smithers
The improvements made to the Smithers Airport runway have provided a great opportunity for expansion of the northwest economy, as these enhancements have allowed increased industrial and commercial air traffic to the region. This expansion project has been a welcome initiative as it has increased the potential for economic growth in the region.