July 29, 2015 - 8:00 PM
KELOWNA – The City of Kelowna will remain in charge of the Kelowna International Airport until 2054 thanks to a 20-year lease extension by the federal government.
Until that time, Kelowna will remain responsible for management, operation and development of the largest airport in the B.C. Interior.
Kelowna mayor Colin Basran says the extension is important for the entire region.
"With security until 2054, the airport will be able to attract long-term business partners and development projects, and increase the positive economic impact that YLW has on the community,” he says.
The announcement was made Wednesday, July 29, by MP Ron Cannan and Minister of Transport Lisa Raitt.
"The Kelowna International Airport is a vital transportation link in the Southern Interior of British Columbia and its value extends to all sectors of the economy,” Cannan says. “I am pleased to provide this 20-year lease extension which means continued prosperity for the airport, its passengers and businesses and communities in the surrounding region."
The prior lease wasn’t set to expire until 2034, however a release from Raitt’s office says the decision was made to ensure continued viability of the Kelowna International Airport and will allow the city to invest in airport infrastructure and capital projects on airport lands that require more than 20 years to realize return on investment.
The airport was built and operated by the City of Kelowna until it was transferred to Transport Canada in 1959. It was immediately leased back to the City of Kelowna under a long-term lease.
It provides 2,730 jobs and $610 million in total economic output to the province of British Columbia serving 1.6 million passengers in 2014.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015