Oliver airport gets expansion funds

Oliver Municipal Airport is getting a grant of $157,350 to fund upgrades under the B.C. Air Access program.

Oliver Municipal Airport is getting a grant of $157,350 to fund upgrades under the B.C. Air Access program.

The funding, announced this week by Boundary-Similkameen MLA Linda Larson, will create a new parallel runway at the airport and widen the taxiway at the ramp to reduce congestion.

“This will increase safety and capacity at the airport, which is a benefit to everyone,” said Larson.

Ron Hovanes, mayor of Oliver, said the funding comes at a critical time for the community’s airport.

“The expansion project will not only address safety concerns, it will also assist us in increasing airport capacity and business development to support our economic growth,” said Hovanes.

Airport manager Paul Dumoret, said this is one of the most beneficial grants received by the airport.

“With the influx of larger aircraft, the need for a parallel taxiway and ramp expansion has become more of a necessity than ever, in order to accommodate the size and numbers of movements, which fuels the economic growth of this region,” said Dumoret. “We have been a very fortunate community to have accessed a number of grants in the past that have assisted in making this the active airport it is today, with more and more turbine and charter traffic.”

Through the B.C. Air Access Program, the government cost shares with public airports on development projects, allowing airports to improve safety, accommodate larger aircraft and more frequent flights, and further support the continuing growth of local and provincial economies.

The government is investing $24 million over three years for the B.C. Air Access Program. The program also encourages funding partnerships with the federal government, local and regional governments and agencies, and the private sector. Last year, the program provided just over $6 million towards improvements at 10 regional airports across the province.

B.C. on the Move is government’s 10-year plan for the improvement of the province’s transportation network. Over the next three years, the B.C. government will invest almost $2.7 billion in transportation improvements.