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October 27, 2017 5:44 pm

YXS Records Strong Year

Thursday, May 4, 2017 @ 6:00 AM

Prince George Airport CEO John Gibson  delivers the numbers – photo250news

Prince George BC – 2016 was a good  year for the Prince George Airport.

At the  Airport Authority’s Annual General Meeting,   CEO  John Gibson  said  462,007 passengers passed through YXS in 2016.  Yes that number is lower than passenger numbers recorded in 2015,  but  there were  15 thousand passengers that year  connected to the Canada Winter Games.   Passenger numbers have shown  steady growth  since  2009, and are up  3.5% significantly compared to  2014  when   just under 446 thousand  passengers passed through the terminal.

The  first quarter of 2017 is also showing promise says Gibson “Passenger traffic is up 2%” when compared  to the first quarter of last year.

But there are still challenges that remain says Gibson.

The  airport continues  to push  the Federal Government for funding ,  “The Federal government gets over $300 million dollars in  land rent  a year, and they do have the money, they choose to spend it somewhere else.   At most,  they put about $38 million dollars  back into the capital side of airport infrastructure  and that’s just not good enough.” 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.

A bright spot  for the Airport this  year,  was the announcement of funding from the Province  for two projects .  One will allow YXS  to install an elevator from the  long term parking lot to the departures level  ( $1.5 million)  the other  was a half million dollar injection  to  complete the  rehabilitation of Apron  #1  where  airlines park their  planes.

Gibson is concerned about the Federal Government’s  proposal to sell off the main airports to private  companies.   He says the  billions gained from such sales would be used to  fund infrastructure  upgrades outside the  aviation  industry. “That’s going to cost Canadian travellers more money” says Gibson, “The Government’s going to be able to sell  it off for  billions of dollars, and where’s  the money  going to come from  ( for the new owners)?  It’s going to come from  higher fees,  higher concessions, higher everything that  hits the travelling public including the  fees to airlines.”

There may be some changes to the funding model  for   the 6  National Airport System  Airports in Canada,  which includes Prince George.  Gibson  says it’s too early to say  how much money might  find it’s way to YXS  “We are just waiting right now to see  the program definitions.  Will it help us pay for a new emergency vehicle that’s about $1.4 million dollars,  will it allow us to do some of the other runway rehabilitation work with some sort of support? So we are waiting for that,  it’s likely  a month or two months away before we see that.”

Prince George Airport Authority continues to work with the airlines  to  add services, such as a direct flight to Edmonton, Calgary  and a second sunspot likely in Mexico.



Airports spends $300 million to rent the land only and the landlord only spends $38 million on the airport ?? What’s wrong with the math? Maybe time to look for a new location and landlord ???!!!

    I’m pretty sure that is across the entire country.

      You are correct on that point Digitus.

      The interesting thing about this article is the fact the Liberal Government wants to sell off these Airport Authorities. After all the Airport Improvement Fee money has been invested in airports across the country they now want to sell these assets to private companies.

      This is a national disgrace. I wonder if any Canadians will rise up and complain about this, or if they will (as usual) roll over and go back to sleep.

There is no way that the Government of Canada should be selling off our Airports and Seaports. I don’t recall Trudeau and his crew talking about this during the last election.

We have spent hundreds of millions of dollars to upgrade these airports using the money collected from those people who fly. (Airport Improvement Fee’s.)

Seems to me if you collect money from the travelling public to finance airport improvements, they then have a financial interest in these facilities. Can we assume that if the Government sells the airport they will reimburse those people who paid out millions in airport improvement fee’s.??

But….but….but global warming! Aren’t governments supposed to be Discouraging air travel? So how then could 2016 be a a good year for the Prince George Airport?

No doubt the large increase in traffic is generated from the new runway that handles all those large cargo planes needed in order to land and takeoff in PG.

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