Northwest Regional Airport general manager Carman Hendry

Airport projects growth over the next 20 years

The Northwest Regional Airport released its 20-year master plan last week

The airport’s oftentimes crowded pre-boarding waiting area and backed up security line will be two of the first things to improve based on the outline for work contained in the Northwest Regional Airport’s 20-year master plan released Jan. 28.

“We’ve got a good, solid plan to work towards now,” said airport society president Ron Burnett at the master plan open house held at the airport, noting the necessity of a document like this to get ahead projected demands for the airport’s services.

Short-term priorities include improvements to the terminal building – more space at the check-in counters and pre-boarding waiting area, expanded security and baggage holding – public parking lots, and development to the main apron to provide space for larger aircraft.

Long-term priorities include lighting and electrical upgrades, the development of an airport fire station, restaurant and office expansion, development of Canadian Border Services Agency facilities (contingent upon getting that service), new parking lots, a commercial development area, a light industrial area, and developing the area where the airport’s entrance intersects with Hwy37.

Kerr Lammie, from Airbiz, the consulting firm which wrote the plan after speaking with local governments, regional districts and chambers of commerce, said the plan was built “based on reasonable, conservative forecasts.”

Those forecasts show that strong demand will continue in the short-term – last year, the airport saw 177,600 passengers, a 28 per cent increase from 2012 – and surpass 250,000 passengers in the next five years.

That forecast is built on current and anticipated development of industrial projects.

The forecast in the guide will “give the airport something to track against, act as a guideline,” Lammie said, while not completely tying the airport’s hands to development needs that may shift in the coming years.

That’s because the plan is intended to be a “living document” – a touchstone for future development at the airport consistent with the needs of the community, but regularly updated and flexible enough to allow changes depending on what does, or doesn’t, happen in the region going into the future.

The airport should see flexibility with its plans for commercial expansion east of the terminal to the existing lots on Bristol Road, providing space for private operations and fixed base operators.

For example, a company that is regularly flying out workers to an operations camp could lease a building and use that as a base – providing their own security and operations staff – while their project is underway, easing some of the strain on the main terminal.

The airport would still receive the passenger fee, but costs would be lower, and once the project is over and the lease is up, the airport can rent to someone else or develop it into something new – the terminal grows to support local demand, and the commercial area grows to support industry.

And with the economic growth in the area, Lammie said he won’t be surprised if some of the proposed changes happen soon.

“With investments it will start to take shape really quick,” he said.


Just Posted

College buys a yurt to boost student success

Round tent-like structure part of college instructional shift

Soup kitchen sees “groundswell of community support”

Donations toward looming tax bill push non-profit back in the black

Terrace husband and wife honoured for saving each other’s lives

BC Ambulance presented each a Vital Link Award for separate incidents of CPR

Council supports lobby for fair share of cannabis tax revenue

The City of Terrace is throwing its support behind a West Kelowna… Continue reading

Airport registers modest passenger increase

Manager anticipates further growth in 2018 as expansion project nears completion

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

VIDEO: Dramatic video shows return of B.C. snowboarders

Two snowboarders were rescued near Rossland, B.C. on Sunday after being lost overnight.

Tom Brady leads Patriots back to Super Bowl, top Jaguars 24-20

New England to face winner of Sunday night’s game between Minnesota and Philadelphia on Feb. 4

Liberals quietly tap experts to write new paternity leave rules

Ideas include creating an entirely new leave benefit similar to one that exists in Quebec

Insurers say Canadian weather getting hotter, wetter and weirder

Average number of days with heavy rain or snow across Canada has been outside norm since spring 2013

Final phase of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy trials to kick off in B.C.

Doctors hope to get psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy legalized in Canada and the U.S. by 2021

VIDEO: Thousands join women’s march events across B.C.

Today marks one year since the first Women’s March on Washington

Two Canadians, two Americans abducted in Nigeria are freed

Kidnapping for ransom is common in Nigeria, especially on the Kaduna to Abuja highway

Are you ready for some wrestling? WWE’s ‘Raw’ marks 25 years

WWE flagship show is set to mark its 25th anniversary on Monday

Most Read