Smithers Regional Airport manager Rob Blackburn hopes the completion of the first lease agreement for land around the facility is a sign of things to come.
At the regular Town of Smithers council meeting on June 11, a 20-year lease agreement was signed with Silverking Helicopters for a block of land at the corner of Harvard Way and Ventura Boulevard.
“We worked very closely with Silverking to tailor fit the lease and the location they were looking for to suit their needs,” Blackburn said.
The Smithers-based company, in operation since 2010, is the first business to lease land at the airport after the town decided to make property available earlier this year.
“We’ve had a lot of support from the airport manager and the town to get to this point,” Missy Hinds, co-owner of Silverking Helicopters, said.
“We’ve got customers coming to and from the airport all the time, so it’s the perfect location.”
The company will be constructing an administration building and landing pad on their new site.
Hinds said they want to begin construction right away.
Blackburn said he is currently in negotiations with other businesses also interested in land at the airport and thinks the signing of the Silverking Helicopters lease will encourage others to come forward.
“It’s something I have been spending a lot of time on,” he said.
“I can’t say who but I’m definitely working with other clients to try to tie up some more leased land.
“We’ve seen it in other areas where a little bit of growth starts to build excitement and that’s what I’m trying to accomplish.
“Once we get a couple in, once people see some development here, I think it will really start to take off.”