VANCOUVER –As another date has come and gone to resolve the issue of Vancouver harbour floatplane terminal locations, Vancouver-West End MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert called on the Liberal government to show some accountability over the new private for-profit floatplane docks.
Standing at Harbour Green Park where the temporary terminal has been located many years past its expected departure, Chandra Herbert posed some tough questions to the government over the project.
“How did this project go so horribly wrong, and when will the Liberals admit their failure and stand up for the public interest?” said Chandra Herbert. “I am asking why there is no solution to this problem after over a year of negotiations to see the smooth operation for B.C.’s second busiest airport.”
“How many millions of public dollars are the Liberals giving to the private operator to subsidize this deal and why are floatplane operators balking atusing the new terminal, citing concerns with safety of the new docks?” asked Chandra Herbert.
Chandra Herbert said there are a number of outstanding questions preventing the planned movement of floatplanes from the current Coal Harbour terminal to the Vancouver Harbour Flight Centre. He noted that many of the problems stem from the P3 (public private partnership) development of the new terminal as a for-profit enterprise and not as a non-profit authority as most airports are.
As of September 15, two key float plane operators still refuse to move to a new terminal which is just around the corner but miles away in terms of the usability of the new facilities by the busy local companies.
“Because the future of the floatplane terminal is stalled, we have temporary facilities, a high level of floatplane noise, and an experience of the harbour that is simply not what Coal Harbour residents and businesses were led to expect,” said Chandra Herbert.
Chandra Herbert said the proposed $19 round-trip passenger levy has also come under heavy protest by the Vancouver Commercial Seaplane Operators Association (VCSOA). The VCSOA has protested the mandated extra fee as downloaded onto passengers and claim the surcharge will greatly impact passenger traffic.
“As we wait for a solution, I wonder how many more taxpayer dollars will go to what I can only describe as a P3 boondoggle before a solution is reached?” said Chandra Herbert.