Runway resurfacing in Williams Lake boosts safety, supports economy

August 6, 2015

Williams Lake Airport has been approved for $250,000 in funding to support runway resurfacing

Williams Lake Airport has been approved for $250,000 in funding to support runway resurfacing

Passengers through the Cariboo’s busiest airport will soon enjoy a smoother runway thanks in part to help from Northern Development. The Trust’s board of directors has approved a $250,000 grant to resurface the runway at Williams Lake airport. Last year, the airport recorded 34,000 passengers through its doors, equating to approximately 11,000 landings.

In addition to regularly scheduled flights with Central Mountain Air and Pacific Coastal Airlines, the airport services two charter flights daily for nearby mines and also serves as a forest fire tanker base and supports Canadian Military, medevac, charter and helicopter traffic. Northern Development’s grant funding comes in addition to a $3.89 million Government of Canada grant to support runway improvements at the airport. In addition to improving safety at the airport, the runway improvements could also generate $100,000 in additional revenue for the airport in the next five years through reduced operational costs, fees, parking, leases and fuel sales. The Trust’s $250,000 grant was approved through the Economic Diversification Infrastructure program. Since 2005, Northern Development has provided more than $4 million in grants to support airport improvements projects throughout the region.

“Airports are crucial to the economy in Northern B.C., and these improvements to the Williams Lake Regional Airport will continue to ensure residents, employees and visitors can travel safely to and from our region,” said Evan Saugstad, Chair, Northern Development Initiative Trust.

“The City of Williams Lake is pleased to receive funding from Northern Development Initiative Trust for this important upgrade. The resurfacing of the runway will ensure safety not only for scheduled flights, but for our Ministry of Forests Air Tanker Base, medevac, military, and the many private flights that use the Williams Lake airport,” said City of Williams Lake Mayor Walt Cobb.

“Aviation and tourism is critical to our economy, supporting jobs, enabling investment and facilitating travel,” said Cariboo North MLA Coralee Oakes. “This funding will support not only runway improvements at the Williams Lake Airport but will help provide a more reliable and accessible transportation link to the rest of the province, and a foundation for ongoing safety enhancements.”

“For many residents in the Cariboo region, commuting is a large part of our everyday lives,” said Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett. “The resurfacing of the runway at Williams Lake Airport will make a positive impact by helping move goods and people more efficiently and enhancing public safety.”

Joel McKay
Director, Communications
Northern Development Initiative Trust