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Texada Island Airport status reviewed at qRD meeting

qathet Regional District staff prepare report to answer outstanding questions, directives and resolutions
WITHOUT SERVICE: qathet Regional District directors were presented an overview of Texada Island’s airport, which, currently, is not a certified facility, but instead, is rated as a registered aerodrome by Transport Canada.

qathet Regional District (qRD) board will consider receiving a staff report on the current state of the Texada Island Airport.

At the November 22 committee of the whole meeting, Electoral Area D director and committee chair Sandy McCormick said she appreciated staff bringing the airport to the attention of the regional district’s airport advisory committee.

McCormick said it was pointed out in the report that the only way to have scheduled service at the airport is to become a certified airport. She said that later on in the report, it states that Texada cannot be a certified airport without scheduled air service.

“It’s kind of a chicken and egg thing,” said McCormick. “You can’t have one without the other and you can’t have the other without the one. I wonder if staff can offer some clarification about that and the functioning of the airport as a registered aerodrome – if that can continue.”

Manager of asset management and strategic initiatives Arnold Schwabe said an airport cannot have scheduled flights without being a certified airport. He said the statement later in the report about certification has a couple of qualifications.

“Transport Canada outlines if you have a scheduled service you always have to remain a certified airport,” said Schwabe. “Maybe there was a bit of confusion there in the way it was worded but you can have a certified airport without scheduled flights, but if you do want to have scheduled flights, you have to be a certified airport.”

McCormick then said she had a question about the airport functioning as a registered aerodrome, which she believes the airport in Gillies Bay is now.

“If I’ve got that correct, can it continue into the future?” asked McCormick.

Schwabe said that is correct and that it can continue.

“The only minimum requirements you would have to meet are things like safety standards,” said Schwabe. “That is not one they would typically take away unless there was some violation of those safety standards.”

The staff report stated that in May 2012, the regional district’s rural services committee decided the expense and the amount of work required to keep the airport certification on Texada Island was not justified and the certification was voluntarily surrendered to Transport Canada. After that, the airport was classified by Transport Canada as a registered aerodrome, and scheduled air service was allowed with a single carrier that could provide scheduled service by filling out an agreement.

The report stated that Transport Canada indicated earlier this year that it will no longer provide aerodrome authorization for scheduled service, meaning that an airport must be certified to allow scheduled flights.

The committee voted to recommend that the regional board receive the airport report on the current state of the Texada Island Airport.

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