The Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine (RDKS) is providing a second major financial contribution in an effort to upgrade the Dease Lake Airport.
The $200,00 is drawn from the Community Works Gas Tax Funds for Electoral Area D (Bob Quinn, Iskut, Telegraph Creek area) at $133,333 and $66,667 is being taken from Electoral Area F (Dease Lake area).
The RDKS first contributed $50,000 to the Stikine Airport Society in August 2020, as part of a larger effort by the society, provincial government, Tahltan Nation and mining companies to revamp the airport and complete badly-needed improvements.
The Dease Lake Airport was inspected by Transport Canada Civil Aviation Association (TCAA) in 2018. That inspection found several key issues like unserviceable runway lights, runway edge cracking, low brush near the runway and gaps in the perimeter fence.
The airport is not certified by the TCAA for regular scheduled passenger operations.
Mining and exploration companies also identified problems that limit reliable charter flights. Those include deficient safety standards, limited staff and training, no on-site emergency services or medical evacuation capability, inadequate security and unclear airport management and oversight.
Several other areas of the airport do not meet the requirements of the Basic Aviation Risk Standard program of the Flight Safety Foundation.
The original cost of the project was an estimated $5,169,500 USD, but has since expanded to $11 million with additional grants.
Work is ahead of schedule, and the expected project completion date in March 2022. So far, paving of the runway, taxiway, apron and parking lot has been completed, along with painting and the majority of above ground and underground electrical works.
Commissioning of runway lights, fencing of the apron area, tree clearing and erosion control matting are yet to be completed.
When the work is finished, the Stikine Airport Society will seek Transport Canada Certification for the Dease Lake Airport.