FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The North Peace Regional Airport Society and North Peace Airport Services made their annual presentation during the Committee of the Whole meeting on Monday, September 9th, 2019 to City Council.
Miranda Flury, Director of Strategy, Capital and Planning of the North Peace Regional Airport shared that the airport is an economic driver for the area. No taxpayers money has been spent to fund the airport, it has paid its own way over the years.
In 2018, the North Peace Airport Society transitioned from the PRRD into a Society and since that time has worked to develop the airport to support the growth and needs of stakeholders.
The Society in 2018 invested in policy development such as capital reserve policy, $300,000.00 for an engine and website development.
The Society shares they noted a 6 percent drop in passengers which they attribute to the downturn in the oil and gas industry. Growth continues with a forecast of 3 percent growth in 2019.
Future needs of the airport require the rehabilitation of the predominate runway 03/21 which has a socio-economic impact on the area and will cost $18 million.
Gordon Duke, Managing Director of the North Peace Airport spoke on North Peace Airport Services in 2018. Completed were inspections and approvals, a training exercise that included actors to make the event realistic and a water bottle fill station which is estimated to have saved 10,000 plastic bottles from being thrown away.
There has also been more community involvement with events such as Mega Bounce that saw approximately 400 participants and raised $6,000 dollars to team with the Hospital Foundation and tourism.
The presentation also included details that spoke of the history of the airport sharing that the current airport is FSJ’s fifth airport space and in 1934, what could be considered the first scheduled route happened once a month to transport mail, shared Jim McKnight, President of the North Peace Airport Society.