Boundary-Similkameen MLA Linda Larson joined city representatives at the Grand Forks Municipal Airport Thursday to announce a $45,000 grant for beacon upgrades.
The B.C. government is investing in beacon site upgrades at the airport as part of B.C. on the Move, the province’s new 10-year transportation plan.
The funding, awarded through the new B.C. Air Access Program, will be used to replace solar-powered, remote standard beacons and regular-powered beacon sites with LED-powered beacons.
The Grand Forks airport is the only airport between Kelowna and Cranbrook capable of providing 24-hour Medevac emergency night flights, Larson pointed out.
“These upgrades are anticipated to reduce operating and maintenance costs, and remain in service for the next 15 years.”
“Improving and upgrading infrastructure at B.C.’s airports is critical to our economy by facilitating trade, travel and tourism,” Larson said. “This investment in Grand Forks Municipal Airport will provide a boost for the city, the region and its residents.”
Grand Forks Mayor Frank Konrad said the city is pleased about the funding and thanked the province and the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure for selecting Grand Forks as a recipient for the funding.
“These dollars will be put to good use for the replacement of the Grand Forks Airport beacon site lighting. The current system, which has regular powered lighting, will be replaced with LED lighting, making them more energy efficient and cost effective.”
Through the B.C. Air Access Program, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure cost shares with public airports on projects such as lighting and navigational systems, terminal building expansion or upgrades, and runway improvements.
These types of projects allow airports to improve safety and accommodate larger aircraft and more frequent flights, supporting the continued growth of local and provincial economies.
The program also encourages funding partnerships with the federal government, local and regional governments and agencies, and the private sector.
This year’s B.C. Air Access Program funding allocation is $6 million.