*Released by Northern Development Initiative Trust*
Prince George, B.C. – The Prince George Airport will soon undertake renovations and operational upgrades valued at $683,886 to increase efficiencies and enable future growth for daily flights and new airlines thanks in part to the support of funding from Northern Development Initiative Trust.
In 2016, Northern Development’s board of directors approved $368,418 in funding for the projects through its Economic Diversification Infrastructure program. The program specifically targets projects that significantly strengthen the local economy, that drive revenue and job creation through a major capital investment and provide a long-term asset for the community.
$250,000 of these funds were awarded to support terminal renovations valued at $514,717.
The Prince George Airport is currently over capacity for office space, where it is difficult for existing partner airlines to find the space they need for operational or production efficiencies. Renovating the terminal to maximize the use of existing space and adding some additional capacity will enable the Prince George Airport Authority to entertain opportunities with new potential flight partners.
The hold room for passengers waiting to board flights is at capacity during peak flight hours as the space accommodates four carriers with two gates, creating congestion leading to flight delays. Additionally, one of the gates creates a vacuum from the wind when it is open, causing safety concerns as the doors can swing back abruptly. The project will see a renovated gate vestibule with an increased size with improved accessibility, better position and addition of sliding doors which will eliminate the need to construct a third gate.
The Prince George Airport also struggles with finding space to display flight information. Thanks to this project, digital signage will replace the existing manual signs in the hold room, allowing up to date information to be displayed for passengers.
An additional $118,418 for a $169,168 project was approved to improve the process of fuel sale management. Currently, airport staff account for fuel inventory and sale manually, resulting in significant staff time and risk of error. Automating this process will help ensure that a reasonably priced fuel supply is available to service cargo and passenger aircrafts and frees up staff time to help with fuel business development which is forecasted by the Prince George Airport Authority to increase in 2017.
Evan Saugstad, Board Chair, Northern Development Initiative Trust:
The additional capacity afforded to the Prince George Airport through these operational upgrades will impact the entire region. Every dollar committed to these projects is a commitment to building a stronger north. A more efficient airport, with increased opportunities for visitor attraction and investment attraction, will benefit the region for years to come.
John Gibson, President and CEO, Prince George Airport Authority:
We are extremely thankful NDIT continues to believe in us and what we do for the region’s economy. Without the funds we couldn’t carry out these projects. We look forward to providing continuous improvement for our passengers and airline partners with the help of NDIT.
Shirley Bond, MLA Prince George-Valemount:
Last year was a time of exceptional growth for tourism in B.C. Improved air access is crucial in continuing to build on this record and attract tourism to our region and province. With expanded facilities and the potential for new flight partners, it will give the Prince George airport an opportunity to take full advantage of the growing strength of the tourism sector.
Mike Morris, MLA Prince George-Mackenzie:
Northern B.C. is a unique part of the province with a lot to offer. Infrastructure improvements, like those being carried out at the Prince George Airport, improve ease of travel to and from our region. These airport upgrades will benefit residents and visitors of Northern B.C. alike.
Lyn Hall, Mayor, City of Prince George:
Prince George has always been a community at the intersection of rivers, roads, and rail. Increasingly, we have also become known as a hub for national and international air traffic, which presents this region with significant opportunities for economic development. On behalf of Council, I would like to thank Northern Development for making this important investment in our top-tier airport facilities and in the economic diversification of the Prince George area.
Todd Doherty, MP Cariboo-Prince George:
The Prince George Airport is essential for economic and societal growth in our Northern communities. This investment on behalf of NDIT will continue to support the movement of people and goods for many years to come.
About the Prince George Airport
Strategically located on the North Pacific Corridor and on Great Circle air routing – the Prince George Airport Authority is an integral part of the Asia Pacific Gateway linking the economies of Asia and North America. The airport with Canada’s fourth longest commercial runway offers carriers flying trans-pacific routings a Canadian alternative to traditional airport gateways.
About Northern Development Initiative Trust
Northern Development Initiative Trust combines funding with smart thinking to help Northern British Columbia thrive. The Trust was created for the north and is led by the north. Since 2005, Northern Development has found 2,400 ways to say “yes” to economic diversification in our region, attracting more than $1.3 billion in new investment to the region.
Director, Marketing and Communications
Northern Development Initiative Trust
Manager, Marketing and Communications
Prince George Airport Authority