Chamber Pushes Airport Issues
Prince George, B.C.- The Prince George Chamber of Commerce continues to press for support for the Prince George Airport.
In its presentation to the Select Standing Committee on Finance, Chamber CEO Christy Rae outlined the financial challenge facing YXS because it is on land leased from the Federal Government. That lease means YXS is not eligible for critical infrastructure funding from the Federal Government. She then presented the Chamber’s resolution which calls for all airports in Canada to be eligible for the infrastructure funding.
“”This resolution does cover issues that are under federal jurisdiction, we do realize that” Ray told the Committee, “But we wanted to familiarize you with the issue as it is important to BC communities that have small airports.”
The resolution is the same one presented to the National Chamber of Commerce AGM two weeks ago in Regina where it received 97% approval from delegates.
With past “business minded” city Mayor and Councils investing millions of our tax dollars on the airport runway extension, fuel depot, and global logistics park, and with no return on investment in sight, it looks like the Chamber of Commerce is looking for a way to off load these airport “infrastructure improvements costs” onto the federal government.
I applaud the current “community minded” Mayor and Council, stay away from these kinds of pie-in-the-sky business ventures, and subsequent trips to China, and continue to focus locally on city infrastructure improvements.
When the Prince George Airport was set up as an Airport Authority, those people involved knew full well that once it was established as an Airport Authority they would be subjected to lease payments to the Federal Government for the property, and that there would be no funding for infrastructure.
Now that the great dream balloon has popped they want to get the benefits of the smaller Airports in regards to infrastructure, but keep the designation of an Airport Authority so they can reap the profits from Airport Improvement Fee’s etc:
The Federal Government gave them a number of breaks over the years on lease payments, and it was only recently that they actually paid any lease costs.
This whole Airport concept was based on airlines stopping here for tech stops, and to some degree on air cargo. Neither of these have materialized and as a result the Airport is much the same as it was since it was set up as an Airport Authority.
They do have the option of returning the Airport to the Federal Government to run, but somehow I doubt if they would do that.
Yep and you guys saw the downturn in the economy coming?
Municipal bonds ?
Seamutt. There were a number of people who stated at the time that this Airport Authority was set up, and when the extension to the runway was going to be built, that the likelihood of Cargo Jets, and Tech Stops were very remote. Furthermore it was stated that with new Airplanes that can fly non stop from North America to China, etc; that tech stops would be substantially reduced.
The downturn in the economy is just the excuse that they use. Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, and Anchorage have all bounced back since the downturn, however nothing has happened (as yet) at Prince George.
Actually it depends on the load of cargo how far an airplane can fly. Cargo does not fly from eastern, southern, central US directly to China fuel load required cuts into revenue paying cargo. They still stop in anchorage. Politics plays a big part.
Another new factor since the downturn of the economy is that passenger jets now carry lots more cargo than they used to. With the high frequency of passenger flights compared to only cargo flights, pure cargo has been greatly impacted.
A poor secret has been the introduction of luggage fees has reduced the amount of luggage carried allowing more revenue generating cargo to be carried.
On warm summer evenings I like to go out to the global logistics park, the refueling depot, and the extended portion of the airport runway, just to listen to the crickets, and watch the spiders build their webs. It comforts me to know in the complete absence of human activity, nature goes on. ;-)
Why was the airport built on federal land if it was known from the outset that that would preclude the receipt of federal infrastructure funding? Was there no good alternative on provincial or private land?
Wasn’t every Canadian airport built on federal land ?
“The resolution is the same one presented to the National Chamber of Commerce AGM two weeks ago in Regina where it received 97% approval from delegates.”
Almost 100% support is a pretty good starting point.
Who in their right mind lease a house or commercial property and pave the driveway/ parking lot on their own dime WTF?
The airport was built in the forties and not long ago the funding bureaucracy for airports was changed. The is when the trouble started.
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