Federal funding strengthens Northern BC air transport sector

Prince George, BC – The Honourable Jay Hill, Member of Parliament for Prince George-Peace River and Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, on behalf of the Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification, today announced a $227,550 federal government investment to increase economic opportunities in northern British Columbia’s air cargo industry.

“Air cargo related industries are an important part of Western Canada’s economic position as a Gateway to the Pacific,” said Minister Hill. “Today, the Government of Canada is following up on its recent announcement and ensuring that the Prince George Airport has the required tools to fully participate in and compete for global market opportunities.”

With today’s investment, the Prince George Airport Authority will coordinate and implement a marketing plan to leverage its recent runway expansion. The project will promote the airport as an air carrier refueling stop, a backhaul for placing cargo on planes transiting the airport and a cargo transfer site. Funding will design and produce marketing material and tools including brochures, a video, trade show equipment and a redesigned website. The initiative will also involve attendance and presentations at major North American air cargo, air freight and transportation events. Activities will translate into economic opportunities for the airport and region by way of increased international aircraft fuel stops and potential for more traditional airfreight business.

“We are honored to have the support of the Federal Government as we move forward with our marketing initiatives. This funding announcement allows us to remain competitive within our industry, and will help us realize our mission in becoming an economic stimulus for Northern British Columbia”, says Jim Blake, Chair Prince George Airport Authority.

Today’s announcement builds on the recent Government of Canada grand opening of the expanded Prince George airport runway, which was funded with an $11 million contribution from the Mountain Pine Beetle program’s Airport Improvement Initiative. The Prince George Airport Authority also purchased a snow-clearing vehicle, will add a cargo refuelling pad and is making ongoing improvements to the lighting and navigational aid systems.

Western Economic Diversification Canada works with the provinces, industry associations and communities to promote the development and diversification of the western economy, coordinates federal economic activities in the West and represents the interests of western Canadians in national decision-making.