September 27, 2013
Runway project will see the existing apron increase 42%, attracting new aviation-related businesses and light industry
Quesnel, B.C. – Northern Development Initiative Trust’s board of directors has approved a $244,815 grant to support a major apron expansion at the City of Quesnel’s airport. The current apron is 52,500 square feet and is one of the smallest certified airport aprons in B.C., which means it cannot accommodate multiple aircraft effectively. The city plans to expand the apron by an additional 22,500 square feet (a 42% increase in size), which will provide access to a new multi-use hangar.
The apron expansion is needed to connect the new hangar to the airport’s existing apron and runway. The hangar is expected to generate new economic development for the city, attracting aviation related businesses such as flight schools, technical training, logistic and cargo support and aircraft maintenance.
The airport, which is owned, operated and funded by the City of Quesnel, is an integral asset for the local economy. The apron expansion and development of the new hangar facility is expected to generate additional lease revenue and stimulate increased air traffic movements. The grant is being provided through the Trust’s Economic Diversification Infrastructure program, which provides up to $250,000 in funding to municipalities, regional districts, First Nations and non-profit organizations in Northern Development’s service area for projects that significantly strengthen the local economy via a major capital investment.
The grant approval for the apron expansion also shows the success of Northern Development’s Feasibility Studies program, which provides grant funding to local governments, First Nations bands and registered non-profits to help cover the cost of an advanced business case study that leads to a final investment decision for a major capital infrastructure project.
The airport apron expansion is a product of Quesnel’s Airport Land Development Plan, which was developed with the goal to make Quesnel Regional Airport a leader in general and small commercial aviation in northern B.C. Northern Development helped fund the plan with a $9,500 grant through its Feasibility Studies program. Construction on the apron expansion is expected to begin in the spring of 2014.
“Investing in our airports to improve access to the region is a key driver for economic growth in northern B.C. – and that’s what makes this a worthwhile project,” said Evan Saugstad, Chair, Northern Development Initiative Trust. “The Trust is proud to support this exciting project through both our Feasibility Studies and Economic Diversification Infrastructure programs.”
“The City of Quesnel is grateful for the generous funding received from Northern Development Initiative Trust for this project. Our airport is an important part of Quesnel’s transportation system and it is wonderful to see the lands being utilized to enhance the airport’s capacity,” said City of Quesnel Mayor Mary Sjostrom. “It is exciting to see the project moving forward.”
“We welcome this expansion as it will increase the apron area extensively, allowing users more aircraft parking options and easier access to on-site services,” said City of Quesnel Transportation Manager Harlene Hunt. “As well, it will provide airport maintenance personnel with more maneuvering room for operating large equipment.”
Northern Development Initiative Trust
About Northern Development
Northern Development Initiative Trust is an independent regional economic development corporation focused on stimulating economic growth and job creation in central and northern British Columbia. To date, $115 million in funding has been committed to 1,253 projects in communities throughout central and northern British Columbia.
For information on Northern Development and the community economic development projects being led in communities throughout northern B.C., visit: http://www.northerndevelopment.bc.ca