City of Powell River has been awarded a $1 million grant for phase one of the Powell River Airport runway extension, through the Government of BC’s community economic recovery and infrastructure program.
According to a city media release, when the entire project is completed, the runway will be extended to be more than 1.2 kilometres in length, meeting Transport Canada standards and providing safe access for twin-engine passenger and cargo planes.
Total cost of the project is $2.4 million, with the city paying the additional $1.4 million through a combination of reserve funds and borrowing.
“This grant is a great investment in the future of Powell River,” stated mayor Dave Formosa. “I can’t emphasize enough how important this is to the economic future of our community. It’s the next step in what we see as an air transport hub connecting Powell River to Vancouver.
Phase 1 of the project is to cap a former landfill site to the east of the runway, which is a critical first step in extending the runway. The release stated the extension increases the amount and type of air traffic into the community and further enhances an asset that is attracting new businesses and residents, and is helping to secure the economic health of the community in the long term.
The grant is part of the $20 million Government of BC recovery program to support new jobs and economic opportunities to communities recovering from impacts of COVID-19. Powell River is one of 38 rural municipalities to receive a grant.
“This is a great day," stated Formosa. "We’ve been wanting to do this for a long time and now we can get started.”
Powell River-Sunshine Coast MLA Nicholas Simons said he was very pleased to see the city was successful in its application and that recovery funds will help communities build back strongly.
In November 2020, the city released its Powell River Airport Master Plan, which provides a 25-year vision for development of the airport. The runway extension is a key component of the new master plan.