Williams Lake and Anahim Lake airports have landed more provincial funding, this time in the form of provincial grants aimed at helping keep operations going.
Recently the province announced $16.5 million in funding for 55 regional airports that host medevac services throughout B.C.
“Our government is working to keep vital services operating during this unprecedented time, and this funding will help British Columbians — especially those in rural areas of the province — have a safe and reliable way to travel to essential appointments,” said Rob Fleming, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure.
The Anahim Lake Airport will receive $180,000 and the Williams Lake Regional Airport will receive $360,000.
These latest grants are in addition to ones previously announced in which the Williams Lake Airport will receive $393,000 for terminal upgrades while the Anahim Lake Airport will receive $300,000 for runway upgrades and $22,000 for fencing around the perimeter.
Beth Veenkamp, Williams Lake’s economic development officer said the $360,000 will offset losses in revenue.
“This is important for two reasons — making sure we have our airport in good operational order for medevacs and for essential travel like physicians and specialists coming to the community.”
Currently the airport has maintained commercial service with Pacific Coastal Airlines operating five flights a week on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday.
“We are in better shape than some airports, and we also benefit from having the activity of the Cariboo Fire Centre at YWL,” she added.
Cariboo Regional District Chair Margo Wagner the timing for this support funding from the province is excellent.
“The Regional District airport at Anahim Lake had a very challenging 2020 and experienced a reduction in aircraft movements, passengers and fuel sales. While things are improving, 2021 looks to be another difficult year and this funding support for operational costs will ensure the airport will be able to continue to offer critical community services.”