Smithers’ airport may soon get a lot more leg room thanks to the largest grant the Town has ever received.
Canada’s Ministry of Infrastructure and Communities announced Friday morning it is granting $4 million from the Gas Tax Strategic Priorities program for expansion and modernization of the airport. The $6-million project also requires Smithers to chip in $2 million, expected to come from the airport improvement fee which charges flyers $25.
Smithers Mayor Taylor Bachrach said none of Smithers’ share would come from property taxes.
“In part, we brought in that airport improvement fee for exactly this purpose,” said Bachrach.
The Smithers’ airport terminal was built in the 1960s. This project would expand the building by 547 sq. metres (6,000 sq. ft.), and include accessible washrooms in the secure hold room, upgrades to the fire alarm and sprinkler system, and reconfiguration of the check-in, baggage claim, baggage handling and security areas.
A geothermal district energy system will heat the terminal building, adjacent equipment storage building that was recently built to accommodate being plugged into a geothermal system, and potentially other airport facilities.
This project is one of the 57 projects that are being funded through the Strategic Priorities Fund under the Federal Gas Tax Fund for 2016. The Union of BC Municipalities administers the Federal Gas Tax Fund in B.C. in partnership with the Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia.
Read the full story in the Feb. 17 edition of The Interior News.