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City awarded $1 million grant for airport runway extension

The city is getting a $1 million grant from the province for the Powell River Airport runway extension.

Once the project is finished, the runway will be extended to over 1.2 kilometres, which meets Transport Canada standards while, the city says, “providing safe access to twin engine passenger and cargo planes.”

The grant is coming from the province’s Community Economic Recovery and Infrastructure Program. 

The total cost of the project is $2.4 million, with the city paying an additional $1.4 million through a combination of reserve funds and borrowing.

Mayor Dave Formosa called the grant “a great investment in the future of Powell River.” 

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“I can’t emphasize enough how important this is to the economic future of our community,” Formosa said. “It’s the next step in what we see as an air transport hub connecting Powell River to Vancouver. This is a great day. We’ve been wanting to do this for a long time and now we can get started.”

Phase 1 of the project is shovel-ready to cap a former landfill site, which the city says is a “critical first step” in extending the runway. 

The extension will increase the amount and type of air traffic into the community with the hope of attracting new businesses and residents.

The grant is part of the province’s $20 million recovery program designed to support new jobs and economic opportunities to communities recovering from the impacts of COVID-19. 

Powell River is one of 38 rural municipalities to receive a grant. 

In November 2020, the City released its Powell River Airport Master Plan that provides a 25- year vision for the development of the airport. The runway extension is a key component of the new master plan.

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