NDP MLA Katrine Conroy says funding for Kootenay West airports will help them stay open so people can travel for essential purposes and access the services they need.
This support will ensure these companies are able to weather the challenges due to decreased ridership brought on by the COVID-19 and help them plan for a post-pandemic world.
“People who work in or rely on community airports know how difficult this past year has been,” said MLA Conroy. “We’re making sure that people across the Kootenay West riding will still have access to the services they need and jobs they and their families rely on by supporting local airports.”
The New Democrat government issued a one-time investment of $6.2 million to various inter-city bus operators and $16.5 million for regional airports to support operations between April 1, 2021 and March 31, 2022. Inter-city bus operators and regional airports will use the funds to pay for operating costs, like maintenance expenses for buses, air terminals and runways. As well as for payroll, rent and other overhead costs that keep these services operating.
Airports have experienced a significant decrease in operating revenues that, without financial help, could affect their ability to support and sustain fire suppression and essential medical evacuation services. This grant will provide regional airports the necessary funds to maintain air terminals, runways and other operations for the essential movement of goods and people.
In Kootenay West, the following airports are receiving support:
- West Kootenay Regional Airport (Castlegar): $720,000
- Trail Regional Airport: $180,000
- Nakusp Airport: $13,000
This announcement is part of BC’s $10 billion COVID response, which includes the StrongerBC for Everyone recovery plan — a plan that protects people’s health and livelihoods while supporting businesses and communities.