January 26, 2016 - 11:30 AM
VERNON - It’s now or never when it comes to extending the runway at the Vernon airport.
Because of new Transport Canada regulations, the city needs to extend the runway by September 2017 — if it wants to at all.
Long range planner Roy Nuriel told Vernon council work needs to begin immediately if it wants to extend the runway, which would allow a wider range of aircrafts to use the airport.
“We have a limited window to do an extension, after which we will never be able to do it again,” Coun. Scott Anderson said.
Anderson said the airport might lose out on business it can never get back if it doesn’t invest in the longer runway. But Coun. Bob Spiers questioned the cost of the project — $5.2 million for the runway expansion alone — and what it will mean for taxpayers.
“If there’s such a great economic benefit, who’s it going to, and why can’t they pay for it?” Spiers said.
Council is reviewing a number of different options as part of the new Airport Master Plan, and intends to do further consultation with industry stakeholders prior to making a final decision. You can read more about the plan here.
What the Vernon airport is today, and what it could be 20 years from now
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2016