First 747 aircraft touches down for refueling at the Prince George Airport

The Prince George Airport Authority is pleased to announce the arrival of the first 747 aircraft for refueling.

The Boeing 747 Aircraft operated by Southern Air Inc. is scheduled to land Monday, November 16, 2009 at 1130 hrs. This aircraft will be arriving from Seoul, South Korea and onto Miami and then Caracaras, Venezuela.

“This announcement is great news for the Prince George Airport and our region. It is a result of consistent marketing and efforts of the PGAA and our partners.” said Jim Blake, Chair of the Prince George Airport Authority (PGAA). “The PGAA will continue to build upon our efforts to date but this is a great first step and we are confident that this is only the beginning of the realization of our vision for our airport!”

“The PGAA and their partners – Allied Aviation (locally operated as Airconsol Aviation Services, ULC) and Shell fuels – have been working hard at providing a sound alternative for traditional transpacific techstop airports.” Explained new PGAA President and CEO, John Gibson. “This first flight is critical to proving to the industry – YXS can compete and offer a great alternative – and we know once this aircraft is on the ground – our team and community will show them great Northern and Canadian spirit!”

“Allied Aviation is very pleased to work in conjunction with the Prince George Airport Authority in welcoming the first Boeing 747 to Prince George.” declared Dion Faulkner, General Manager, Canada, Allied Aviation. “We are very excited to finally see this day when the first 747 arrives at YXS and we hope that this will be the first of many airlines that will look to YXS as a preferred location for large wide body aircraft on the great circle route between major Asian and US airports. As the airport experiences growth in this new sector, Airconsol Aviation Services, ULC plans on offering expanded services to meet the needs of its customers.”
Air carriers flying on transpacific routings to and from Asia and North America require “tech stops” for refueling enroute to maximize payload or cargo volumes. Prince George Airport offers carriers the opportunity to fly into a 24/7, non-congested airport with low costs and no operational restrictions or curfews.

“We have put on a full court press in terms of our marketing efforts in the last year” stated Todd Doherty, Director, Marketing and Business Development for the PGAA. “Through our partnerships with Landrum Brown, Allied Aviation and Initiatives Prince George – the message is getting out throughout the industry and world that Prince George is open for business and committed to making this a success.” Doherty continued “Our community and regional opportunities have been well represented through these organizations efforts as well as those of the Port of Prince Rupert’s – the eyes and ears of the industry are upon us.”

Since opening the refueling pad in late September the PGAA has hosted 4 international carriers that are interested in Prince George and taken inquiries from many more. The PGAA, The Port of Prince Rupert and Initiatives Prince George hosted 18 senior officials from China in September – which included 3 major Asian carriers. The event focused on the regional cargo, logistics and development opportunities from Prince Rupert to Prince George, and has already resulted in return visits and meetings from interested groups.

The Prince George Airport transferred from a federally operated (Transport Canada) airport in 2003 and immediately set forth a business plan and vision for the airport. Under the Prince George Airport Authority’s guidance and partnerships with Provincial, Federal and the Northern Development Initiative Trust – the airport has developed into an International Gateway and is part of the Government of Canada’s Asia Pacific Gateway Program. The Prince George Airport now has Canada’s 3rd longest commercial runway and can accommodate any size aircraft for refueling and is adjacent the 3,000 acre Global Logistics Park development.