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Transport Canada to inject almost $1.3 mill into West Kootenay Regional Airport in Castlegar

Transport Canada announced today that it will be investing $1,296,811 in Castlegar’s West Kootenay Regional Airport.

The agency said in a press release issued Tuesday that the investment will include, “installing runway indication lights and an omni-directional approach lighting system; replacing constant current regulators and a standby diesel generator with fuel tank; and installing a runway precision approach path indicator system”.

“Our Government recognizes that local airports are major contributors to the economic growth and social well-being of smaller communities. In addition to supporting travel and tourism, local airports are key connectors for business, health care, social services, and emerging resource development sectors,” said the Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport. “These investments will improve access to safe, efficient and accessible air transportation options, and will help us deliver on our promise to build safer, healthier and stronger communities across Canada.”

In a press release posted on its webpage, the ministry explained that Canadians access airports for everything from visiting friends and family, to travelling to medical appointments, or getting goods to market.

“We rely on our local airports to support and sustain vibrant communities,” the release read. “These airports also provide essential air services including community resupply, air ambulance, search and rescue and forest fire response.”

It also touched on the specific improvements to WKRA.

“Well maintained airside lighting and electrical systems ensure safe usage by aircraft, passengers, and crews during airport operations. These updated systems can also lower energy costs, improve visibility and reduce costs related to maintenance and repair.”

To date, the West Kootenay Regional Airport has received more than $6 million in Transport Canada’s Airports Capital Assistance Program funding for nine safety projects, including this airside lighting and electrical systems project, new snow-clearing equipment and the rehabilitation of the runway, apron and taxiway.