Smithers Regional Airport (YYD). YYD was recently recognized by the BC Aviation Council (BCAC) with their annual Environmental Award for the installation of their new geothermal heating and cooling system. Manager Rob Blackburn was at BCAC’s annual Silver Wings Awards on Oct. 24 to accept the award on behalf of the airport, which is owned and operated by the Town of Smithers. (File photo)

Smithers Regional Airport receives environmental award for new geothermal heating system

The airport has not had to use any natural gas this summer or fall so far

Who says you never get any recognition for going green?

Smithers Regional Airport (YYD) was recently recognized by the BC Aviation Council (BCAC) with its annual Environmental Award for the installation of the airport’s new geothermal heating and cooling system.

The energy-efficient upgrade came as part of the recent airport expansion.

YYD Manager Rob Blackburn was at BCAC’s annual Silver Wings Awards on Oct. 24 to accept the award on behalf of the airport, which is owned and operated by the Town of Smithers.

READ MORE: Council applies for airport expansion

Blackburn said the energy-efficient specifications came as a requirement from council when designs for the new terminal building at YYD were being made.

“The town council required the architect engineers to make the building as green and energy efficient as possible and in order to do that they designed and installed, now, geothermal heating and cooling for the building.”

To that point, Blackburn said YYD has not had to use natural gas in quite some time.

“Through the summer and the early parts of winter in 2019 we haven’t used any natural gas at the airport. So it’s working, it’s a great system, it’s [a] very complicated system, it really cut down our … gas usage and so the BC airports are recognizing us for that.”

The awards ceremony was billed by the BCAC as a night which “recognizes industry colleagues for specific achievements within the Province’s aviation and aerospace industry.”

The expansion isn’t the only big recent change for YYD though.

Earlier this year Air Canada changed the kind of aircraft it uses to serve the airport.

The airline is now serving YYD with a 78-seat Dash 8-Q400, which replaces a 54-seat Dash 8-300 aircraft.

READ MORE: Hawkair’s departure to cost city $67,000 per year

On top of the added capacity, the new aircraft can make use of YYD’s new landing system, which Blackburn previously told The Interior News gives planes an enhanced ability to land.

“[This means] it can come in on a more inclement weather day, it can get in on a lower approach.”

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