Conservative MP Jeff Watson

Conservative MP Jeff Watson

Terrace airport to get new lighting system

A federal grant of $3.7 million will help finance the project

The electrical future of the Northwest Regional Airport is going to be a bit brighter courtesy of a financial boost from the federal government.

A federal Conservative Member of Parliament was at the airport yesterday to announce the federal government is providing $3,706,121 over two years for an upgrade of the airport’s electrical system.

This is 85 per cent of the total cost, with the airport having to come up $600,000 of its own money.

The upgrades, to be competed this year, include new landing lights installed on the field to guide pilots in and new beacons on the surrounding mountain ranges. A back-up generator will also be replaced, with the new one located in a different location inside the airport grounds.

“Our government is committed to the safety and security of all Canadians. This investment at the Northwest Regional Airport promotes the safety and efficient movement of passengers and cargo which will ensure the right conditions for growth, job creation and economic prosperity in Northwestern British Columbia,” said Conservative MP Jeff Watson who is the parliamentary secretary to transportation minister Lisa Raitt.

The money was provided through Transport Canada’s Airports Capital Assistance Program.

Watson was also walked through the airport’s 20-year master plan which includes additions to the main terminal’s passenger waiting room and a separate check-in area. A new restaurant area is also a possibility.

“We’re going to be looking into our crystal ball in August,” said airport manager Carman Hendry. “We are going to be watching carefully to see what the next step is.

Another change in the coming year will be firefighting service at the airport, a requirement because the airport has reached the passenger traffic number at which such a service is required.