GRAND FORKS – NDP MLA Roly Russell says funding for Boundary-Similkameen airports will help them stay open so people can travel for essential purposes and access the services they need.
This support will ensure these companies are able to weather the challenges due to decreased ridership brought on by the COVID-19 and help them plan for a post-pandemic world.
“People in the South Okanagan and Boundary know how important our small local airports are, whether it’s being ready to fight forest fires or making sure people can get the urgent medical care when they need it,” said MLA Russell. “This is one more investment in our rural airports to ensure that they will still be there to support safety and economic development in our communities.”
The New Democrat government issued a one-time investment of $6.2 million to various inter-city bus operators and $16.5 million for regional airports to support operations between April 1, 2021 and March 31, 2022. Inter-city bus operators and regional airports will use the funds to pay for operating costs, like maintenance expenses for buses, air terminals and runways. As well as for payroll, rent and other overhead costs that keep these services operating.
Airports have experienced a significant decrease in operating revenues that, without financial help, could affect their ability to support and sustain fire suppression and essential medical evacuation services. This grant will provide regional airports the necessary funds to maintain air terminals, runways and other operations for the essential movement of goods and people.
In Boundary-Similkameen, the following service providers are receiving support:
- Grand Forks Airport: $90,000
- Oliver Municipal Airport: $48,000
- Princeton Aerodrome: $48,000
This announcement is part of BC’s $10 billion COVID response, which includes the StrongerBC for Everyone recovery plan — a plan that protects people’s health and livelihoods while supporting businesses and communities.