The sign remains on a wall at the Northwest Regional Airport for a service ended by the federal government years ago. The airport wants border entry services restored.

Airport pushes case for border services

AIRPORT GENERAL manager doesn’t understand why federal border authorities would turn down an offer that won’t cost them any money.

  • Oct. 26, 2011 11:00 a.m.

AIRPORT GENERAL manager Carman Hendry doesn’t understand why federal border authorities would turn down an offer that won’t cost them any money.

The Northwest Regional Airport has been asking the Canadian Border Services Agency to restore what had been a telephone check-in service pulled from the airport in 2005.

Up until that year, those landing by plane from another country had been able to pick up a phone and, depending upon what was required, wait for the arrival of a border official from Kitimat.

But when the Kitimat office was closed, the airport service was lost.

The result, says Hendry, puts the airport behind   in meeting a growing demand tied to the increasing number of large industrial projects in the region.

Requiring aircraft arriving from another country to first land somewhere else is time consuming, costly and, ultimately, steers business away from the airport here, he adds.

“We have people telling us they’ll pay for that service on a cost recovery basis. That’s the importance they place on having this kind of service here,” said Hendry.

“What we’ve been asking for is a resumption of what we once had. If it was to be an agent in Kitimat again, that’s fine. The location isn’t important to us, but the service is,” he continued.

Hendry said the society’s board of directors is convinced having a border services office again in Kitimat makes sense because of the expected growth in marine traffic once liquefied natural gas exports begin and should other export plans materialize.

“And how does that happen? By ship,” said Hendry.

What makes the problem stand out here is that varying degrees of border clearance services are available at airports in Smithers and in Prince Rupert.

“All we’re asking is for what we had,” said Hendry.

But the airport’s request for service, even if costs are recovered, has been turned down by the Canadian Border Services Agency.

In a letter to Hendry, agency official Ivan Peterson says there aren’t enough employees at the nearest agency office in Prince Rupert to handle any business in Terrace.

And, Peterson continues, the distance between Terrace and Prince Rupert is more than 100km, the limit officers will travel.

“Furthermore, road and weather conditions during the winter in particular may prevent officers from even traveling to Terrace-Kitimat,” Peterson added.

Hendry says he knows of a circumstance where four Prince Rupert agency officers flew in a helicopter to Kitimat to clear a ship and then flew to Stewart the same day to clear another ship.

“What this really is  an administrative problem that [the border services agency] needs to deal with,” said Hendry.

“We have people who will pay for the service,” he said.

The request for border service is being backed by local governments and economic development agencies.

Just Posted

Terrace school principal reassignments on hold

School board announces “one-year transition” to cheering crowd

Restored Tsimshian totem pole, a gift from B.C., unveiled in Whitehorse

The Gawagani Pts’aan, meaning “Peace Totem Pole,” was gifted to the Yukon government in 1971.

Lost Lake closed for fishing due to goldfish invasion

Pet fish is considered an invasive species to B.C. wild

Two Terrace kayakers set out on Nass River with fundraising mission

By travelling 380km, their aim is to encourage more youth to paddle

DFO announces openings for chinook

Opportunities are few between widespread closures

VIDEO: Driver doing laps in busy Vancouver intersections nets charges

Toyota Camry spotted doing laps in intersection, driving towards pedestrians

Every situation is different, jurors hear at coroners inquest into Oak Bay teen’s overdose death

Pediatrician says involuntary treatment necessary following overdose, opioid use

Fraser Institute releases latest B.C. high school rankings

Fastest improving schools are in cities including Agassiz, Kitimat and 100 Mile House

RCMP across Canada to soon unionize, according to B.C. mayor

A spokeswoman for RCMP headquarters in Ottawa says it’s not yet a done deal

Explicit sex-ed guide for adults mistakenly given to Creston elementary students

The booklet clearly states online and inside that the guide contains sexually explicit information

Driver has $240K McLaren impounded minutes after buying it in West Vancouver

Officers clocked the car travelling at 160 km/h along Highway 1 in a 90 km/h zone

Former Vernon Judo coach pleads guilty to child pornography charges

Bryan Jeffrey McLachlan is set to return to court Sept. 4 for sentencing

B.C. Olympic skier sues Alpine Canada after coach’s sex offences

Bertrand Charest was convicted in 2017 on 37 charges

Most Read