January 29, 2009
Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure – January 26, 2009
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SMITHERS – Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Kevin Falcon, Smithers Mayor Cress Farrow and other dignitaries officially opened the extended runway at Smithers Regional Airport today, improving the airport’s ability to serve industry and residents in the Bulkley Valley.
“The Town of Smithers recognized the need for improvements to the airport, and the Province and other partners supported its vision,” said Falcon. “These upgrades to Smithers Regional Airport are important to expanding both tourism and mining opportunities in the Bulkley Valley.”
“These airport improvements help ensure Smithers has the up-to-date infrastructure necessary to support the mining industry’s heavy investment in the region,” said Smithers Mayor Cress Farrow. “The runway extension at the airport also opens the door to future jet service for Smithers.”
The runway at Smithers Regional Airport has been extended from 5,000 ft. to 7,500 ft. The project also includes relocation of the Precision Approach Path Indicator (PAPI) and the Omni-Directional Approach Lighting System (ODALS), as well as relocating the runway end lights and adding new end lights for the extension.
The runway extension project cost $5.46 million. B.C. and Canada jointly contributed $2 million through the Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund. The Province provided an additional $1.4 million toward the project through its Transportation Partnership Program. The Northern Development Initiative Trust provided $1.36 million, and $699,000 came from the Smithers Regional Airport.
$147 million has been invested in more than 100 communities in B.C. through the Canada-B.C. Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund. Through the Transportation Partnerships Program, established in 2003, the Province has invested over $30 million, with current commitments for an additional $8 million, in improvements at 33 airports across British Columbia.