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REPORTING · 12th March 2012
Walter McFarlane

The First Presentation at Council on Monday, March 5th was from Carman Hendry, the Airport Manager at Northwest Regional Airport. He had a slide presentation concerning support for NDI funds for increasing the size of the Apron at the Terrace Kitimat Airport.

He showed them what the current Apron looked like. There are three aircraft stands. There is also parking for aircraft. Currently, all three stands are occupied in the afternoon. There are also corporate jets for bringing in executive and it has gotten to the point where the apron is full.

He explained KBR is anticipating 600 employees traveling in a week, or 70,000 in and out passengers in a year. This would mean increasing the number of aircraft or the size of the aircraft.

“So we have to plan ahead and make sure that all of these aircraft stands are in a place where a 737 or an Airbus 320 can be accommodated,” said Hendry.

The planes are too big and cross over into an area where planes are supposed to be able to travel without exchanging paint. He suggested relocated the stands by pushing them forward. Although is solves the problem with clearance but they have a problem with the front of the aircraft.

What they are proposing is to expand the main apron 150 metres east. This will create a fourth aircraft stand for cargo, corporate jets and medical evacuation.

Another goal is to repair demolition ducts. The airport was built by military and the runway was designed to be destroyed in the case of capture. The explosives were removed but the ducts were left in tact. There are 8 ducts left to repair.

The final part of the project would be to repair a section of runway which gets a lot of snow. The total project is estimated at $1,015,000. They are applying for 2 grants: One from NDI (9%), one from Western Development (48%) and cover the rest of the expenses themselves (43%).

Councillor Phil Germuth wanted to find out where the money from the airport would come from. The reply was it would come from their line of Credit and money they already have. There would be no increased user fees.

Councillor Rob Goffinet wanted to know if they were in negotiations to bring larger jets. Hendry stated they have not have any talks in regards.

Mayor Joanne Monaghan said she had a conversation with Air Canada about being able to bring up more employees. She stated Air Canada told her to wait until the end of summer when they had bigger planes. She pressed but they stopped the conversation there.

Goffinet made a motion to provide 1/3 of the NDI funding to the airport request. Councillor Mario Feldhoff stated providing this money would not take much of their NDI Funding.

Councillor Corrine Scott stated this was discussed at the last Regional District Meeting and they would invest 50% if Kitimat and Terrace chose not to put in a share. However, they were hoping the District would see the benefit of the expansion.

It was called and carried.