Passengers debark from the first scheduled flight to arrive at Smithers Regional Airport since the end of March. (Thom Barker photo)

Passengers debark from the first scheduled flight to arrive at Smithers Regional Airport since the end of March. (Thom Barker photo)

Feds fund Smithers airport runway repaving

Smithers Regional Airport is getting $6 million from Transport Canada

The Smithers Regional Airport is getting $6 million to repave its runway, taxiway and part of the apron.

In an announcement last week, Transport Canada announced the funding as part of its Airports Capital Assistance Program (ACAP).

Airport manager Rob Blackburn said it is much-needed maintenance for the airport, as well as a

“It’s really good for the town, it’s an economic booster for the community if somebody local gets that work or the local workers who do get some work, like gravel suppliers or asphalt suppliers, it’s a good win-win all around.”

Transport minister Omar Alghabra provided a statement via email.

“Our government recognizes that safe and efficient airports are vital to the economic and social well-being of Canada’s communities,” he said. “From visiting friends and family to getting goods to market, we rely on our local airports like the Smithers Regional Airport to support and sustain vibrant communities.”

The $6 million is part of a $186 million one-time top-up to the ACAP funding stream.

The announcement also temporarily expanded eligibility for ACAP in 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 to eight National Airport System airports including Prince George.

Both of those elements were part of a larger announcement regarding two new airport funding programs.

The Airport Critical Infrastructure Program (ACIP) is a $490 million pot of cash designed to assist Canada’s larger airports safety, security or connectivity infrastructure.

The Airport Relief Fund (ARF) is a COVID-related program to help airports maintain operations in light of drastically reduced revenue.