The Columbia Valley Airport in Fairmont Hot Springs will receive $90,000 in funding from the provincial government through the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.
The funding, in addition to the Regional District of East Kootenays funding, will allow the airport to continue with current or better levels of service, according to a press release from the aiport.
It will support a variety of the airport’s operational expenses including utilities, annual maintenance of the runway, insurance and maintenance of buildings and airport facilities.
The airport was included in this funding of regional airports across the province specifically because the airport hosts medevac services, with the Province providing a one-time investment of $16.5 million to 55 regional airports that host medevac services throughout B.C.
The funding will support operations between April 1, 2021 and March 31, 2022 as a part of B.C.’s $10 billion COVID response.
“The receipt of these funds highlights again the importance of the airport and the essential services it hosts for the Columbia Valley,” said Pascal van Dijk, President, Columbia Valley Airport Society.
“This funding wouldn’t have been available without the airport being a host for medevac flights. The ability for medevac flights to efficiently serve the Columbia Valley effect us all”.
Other airport receiving funding include Kamloops Airport, Kelowna International Airport, Merritt Airport, Olivier Municipal Airport, the Princeton Aerodrome, Revelstoke Airport and the Vernon Regional Airport.
In the first quarter of 2021, the Columbia Valley Airport had nine medevac flights come through the airport and in 2020 the airport had 43 medevac flights in total.
The number of flights through the airport continue to grow, year over year, with increased flights of all kinds including private, training, military and wildfire fighting. The Columbia Valley Airport Society’s crew of committed and invaluable volunteers continues to support operations at the airport.
The Columbia Valley Airport Society (CVAS) is the volunteer governing body for the Fairmont Hot Springs public airport (CYCZ) in Fairmont Hot Springs, BC. The Society serves to ensure the airport remains operational as an essential service for the Columbia Valley area (Canal Flats to Golden).
The airport opened in 1986, has a 6,000-foot long by 100ft wide paved runway and is open year-round to landings from all aircraft, up to and including Boeing 737s. The public airport offers parking and refueling service and is manned during operating hours by volunteers who are also available on an on-call basis.