Northern Development approves $250,000 for major Northwest Regional Airport terminal expansion

September 3, 2014

Funding approval represents the Trust’s 1,500th project since inception.

Northern Development Initiative Trust’s board of directors has approved a $250,000 grant to support the development of the Northwest Regional Airport terminal expansion project.

The project represents a significant expansion of the airport’s existing terminal building and includes:

Significant growth in passenger numbers related to major investments in the northwest region is driving the need for upgrades to the airport.
In 2013, airport passenger traffic grew nearly 40% compared with the year before.
The growth is already causing delays within the terminal building, and the rate of passenger growth at Northwest Regional Airport is expected to continue to increase in the years ahead amid major industrial developments.

The grant approval is also the Trust’s 1,500th economic development project since it began operations.
Since 2005, the Trust has disbursed $125 million in funding for 1,500 projects that have strengthened communities throughout central and northern B.C.
Those investments have helped generate more than 6,000 jobs in the region and forged 2,376 partnerships with 723 organizations that have helped attract $1.2 billion in new investment to the central and northern B.C.

This latest grant approval comes several months after the Trust approved $250,000 to expand Northwest Regional Airport’s existing apron to allow for third aircraft parking area.
Construction for that project is already underway.
This latest grant approval is expected to support the 17 temporary positions, one permanent full-time position and help the airport generate $4.3 million in new revenue in the next five years.

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.
Previously, Northern Development has supported 19 airport improvement projects with $14 million in funding approved toward $114 million in airport expansions in communities throughout the region including: Bella Coola, Vanderhoof, Burns Lake, Fort St. John, the Northern Rockies, Fraser Lake, Masset and the Xeni Gwet’in Community Airport.


“Northwest Regional Airport is a crucial access point for passenger and business traffic entering northwest B.C., and these upgrades will improve services at the airport and support major industrial projects that strengthen British Columbia’s economy,” said Gerald Wesley, Vice Chair, Northern Development Initiative Trust. “The Trust is proud to support this exciting project through our Economic Diversification Infrastructure program.”

“Investing in airport infrastructure is essential with a growing economy and especially in the northwest part of our province. I toured the facility this summer and it was experiencing 41 per cent passenger growth thanks to the economic growth in the region. That growth will continue as Terrace and Kitimat benefit from LNG and other natural resources developments making this investment even more critical,” said Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labou‎r.

“Communities in northwest British Columbia enjoy strong prospects for significant growth, thanks to natural resource development. Building capacity at the Northwest Regional Airport represents a strategic and timely step forward that will create jobs and drive economic expansion across the region. The Government of British Columbia is proud to support the Northern Development Initiative Trust’s infrastructure investments to help ensure continued prosperity in the North,” said Coralee Oakes, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development.

“The expansion of the Northwest Regional Airport will give our region the gateway it needs to continue to play a pivotal role in growing British Columbia’s economy,” said Robin Austin, MLA for Skeena. “It’s fantastic to see this investment go forward.”

“Northern Development Initiative Trust’s investment comes at a critical time as Northwest Regional Airport continues to break monthly passenger traffic records. The improvements to our airport will help us better meet the needs of residents and visitors to the region and we appreciate the Trust’s assistance in helping us build the region’s infrastructure,” said Dave Pernarowski, Mayor, City of Terrace.

“On behalf of Kitimat Council and the entire community, I wish to thank the Northern Development Initiative Trust for this $250,000 Economic Diversification Infrastructure grant in support of the Northwest Regional Airport terminal expansion project,” said District of Kitimat Mayor Joanne Monaghan. “This airport is a critical asset for Kitimat and the entire region.”

“This project is crucial in providing the facilities needed to support our region’s economic future,” said Carman Hendry, Manager, Northwest Regional Airport Terrace Kitimat. “The Terrace-Kitimat Airport Society would like to thank the Northern Development initiative Trust’s show of confidence in our success as the Northwest Regional Airport.”

Quick Facts


Joel McKay
Director, Communications
Northern Development Initiative Trust

Carman Hendry
Northwest Regional Airport Terrace-Kitimat