Williams Lake will receive a $393,000 grant from the B.C. Air Access Program to enhance its regional airport and the Cariboo Regional District $22,000 for the Anahim Lake Airport.
The funds will be used to replace the HVAC and do terminal envelope upgrades at the Williams Lake Regional Airport.
“Receiving funding for our air facilities means we can look forward to making the important upgrades that will get our community moving again,” said Mayor Walt Cobb.
“It will help with operation shortfalls — we are predicting a total loss of $1,718,357 in airport revenue by the end of 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
If travel opens up again, the shortfall could be less, Cobb added.
The grant funding for the Anahim Lake Airport will be used for removal and replacement of perimeter fencing.
It is in addition to the $300,000 announced in Februrary 2021 for runway upgrades at the Anahim Lake Airport.
Seven airports in the Thompson-Okanagan and Cariboo Chilcotin will share $1.2 million in funding.
In its seventh year, the B.C. Air Access Program provides funding to assist communities with improvements to airport infrastructure that would otherwise be impossible to achieve.
“It’s been a difficult year for tourism-related businesses and it’s important that when people are able to travel again, the infrastructure is there to support them,” said Roly Russell, Parliamentary Secretary for Rural Development and MLA for Boundary-Similkameen.
During the COVID-19 pandemic the city has waived rental fees at the terminal for tenants hit hard by loss of business.