August 15, 2014
Trust board of directors backs major investment in Fort St. John airport infrastructure
August 15, 2014
Fort St. John – North Peace Regional Airport is expanding its parking facilities again to meet ongoing demand from increased passenger traffic. In July, Northern Development’s board of directors approved a $250,000 grant to support the expansion.
Increased economic activity in the region, mostly related to the oil and gas sector, has continued to put pressure on the airport. Passenger traffic through the airport in 2013 totalled 186,104, representing a 30% increase in traffic compared with the year before. North Peace Airport expects total passenger numbers in 2014 to exceed 200,000.
The increased traffic has placed renewed demand on short and long-term parking at the airport. In 2013, an additional parking lot was built at the airport that included 100 stalls for general parking and 100 stalls for car rentals. That upgrade also received a $250,000 grant from Northern Development.
This latest parking project includes an additional parking lot that consists of 175 stalls, a renovation to the older parking lot and the creation of three bus lanes to accommodate crew buses. The proposed project is part of the North Peace Regional Airport terminal groundside plan completed in February 2013.
The upgrades have the potential to generate $2.9 million in additional airport revenue in five years. The project will also create up to four direct full-time positions and 10 temporary construction jobs.
The North Peace Airport Society will contribute the remaining funding necessary to complete the project, which totals $2,135,000. Northern Development’s $250,000 grant is provided through the Trust’s Economic Diversification Infrastructure program, which provides 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 growing economy in the North Peace is continuing to place pressure on the North Peace Airport. This grant will not only support necessary upgrades to the airport, but also create new jobs and generate new revenue for the local economy,” said Janine North, CEO, Northern Development Initiative Trust.
“The expansion of the parking lot will benefit residents and travelers from across the region,” said Karen Goodings, Board Chair, Peace River Regional District.
“Industry and business also benefit from the parking lot expansion with increased parking and expanded rental car options. The ongoing support from Northern Development of North Peace Regional Airport projects assures that the airport is able to continue to address the region’s increased travel demands,” said Fred Jarvis North Peace Airport Society Chair and Mayor of the District of Taylor.
Northern Development Initiative Trust
Communications Manager/Commission Liaison, Peace River Regional District