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October 27, 2017 5:20 pm

Airport Waiting for Funding News from Feds

Thursday, June 1, 2017 @ 6:00 AM

Prince George, B.C.-  There may be some good news  arriving for the Prince George Airport  in the weeks ahead.The  airport is one of 6 National Airport Systems in the country which  don’t qualify for federal dollars because  of the current funding model which allows only those airports with more than 500 thousand  passengers per year to  access  infrastructure funding.

The issue of access to federal dollars is critical to  the Prince George  Airport which continues  to push  the Federal Government for infrastructure funding . The YXS ten year capital plan  calls for  $50 to $60 million dollars in  rehabilitation projects.  This year alone,  the Airport will be  spending $6.5 million.

It is an issue Mayor Lyn Hall  pressed during  a visit to Ottawa,  meeting with Transportation Ministry staff to  talk about the  matter “We’ve been battling this for a long time.”  It is also an issue the Chamber of Commerce has pressed, passing a resolution calling for  infrastructure funding  for  small  airports.

Airport President and CEO John Gibson doesn’t want to  jinx it, but  in a presentation to Mayor and Council  he expressed optimism  the  funding model will be changing “We are hopeful the work we have done with the Federal Government  will turn that one around.”  Gibson  says  a change  is “Very, very close, and we should see what the (funding) program looks like by the end of June.



If we are just a 100 passengers a day from reaching the threshold for infrastructure funding than surely we can reach that goal? That’s just two flights a week on a large 747 to a foreign destination… most of which can increasingly not afford the landing fees at Vancouver.

Get one international airline to use our ‘longest runway’ as their Canadian hub and the goal is within reach. Add a direct daily flight PG-Edmonton-Saskatoon-Winnipeg into the mix and we could reach it that way as well.

I think a cheep airline like Philippine Air, or Malaysian Air with connections to large cities in Southeast Asia… with PG serving as a gateway hub should be the airport priority. Both airlines are sold out in Vancouver with no room for adding landing spots.

Combined with a PG-Edmonton-Saskatoon-Winnipeg flight and one would have direct access to 80% of the Canadian Filipino population VIA PG airport.

Or with Malaysian Air it would make sense if PG becomes the central hub for their $50-$60 Billion dollar government investments into Northern BC LNG…. and thus cement the city position as the service hub for Petronas in the coming years considering the large number of Malaysian nationals that would be needing direct flights to this region. At the same time try and sell Petronas on some prime land acquisitions for their operations before they create inflation by announcing any such investments… corner the market on Petronas locating in PG and everything else falls into place IMO.

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