The Williams Lake Regional Airport has been successful in securing nearly $1.5 million dollars in funding through Transport Canada’s Airports Capital Assistance Program (ACAP) for an airfield electrical rehabilitation project.
“Transport Canada sets their priorities and we’ve always been knocked back,” said manager Tim Lussier, noting they had been applying for ACAP funding for the past five years.
“But this year we were approved probably due to some of the failures we’ve had with our infrastructure so that justified it and we kept pushing, the City kept pushing and this year we were granted the funds.”
Some of those failures Lussier said included underground high voltage breakage which basically did not allow them to operate the Airport at night time and during poor weather conditions because they had no visual aids.
The runway lighting system is between 30 to 35 years old.
“It is very critical. Our airfield lighting is very outdated and in poor condition so this will benefit the airport as a whole. It’s a great thing for Williams Lake Airport,” Lussier said.
“In 2016 we had the runway rehabbed and this will just add to it. This will just upgrade Williams Lake Airport to its called Transport Canada Aerodrome Standards to TP12 fifth edition.”
The project will include:
– New Runway 12-30 Edge Lighting
– Taxiway Alpha Edge Lighting
– Apron Edge Lighting
– Replacement of Illuminated Airfield Guidance Signs and Windsocks
– Replacement of Airport Beacon (with LED)
– New IPU
– Automatic Transfer Switch and Bypass Switch
– Miscellaneous Safety Compliance Work
Williams Lake Council approved Mayor Walt Cobb and corporate officer, Cindy Bouchard, to sign the contribution agreement on behalf of the City for the ACAP funding in the amount of $1,498,181.00 at a special council meeting on Tuesday, March 5.
“We’re at 60 percent design,” Lussier said.
“Now that we got approval we’ll go to 100 percent and then we will put it out to tender hopefully late spring-early summer and we hope shovels are in the ground early summer completed by late fall.”
Since starting the ACAP program in 1995, the Government of Canada has invested more than $882.7 million for 948 projects at 186 airports across the country.
To date, Transport Canada said the Williams Lake Regional Airport has received more than $7.2 million in ACAP funding for nine safety projects, including the rehabilitation of the airfield electrical systems and the pavement on Runway 11-29 and Taxiway A, and the installation of a runway condition reporting system.
“We’re looking to replace some of our equipment like the snowblower, the runway sweepers which is also ACAP fundable but again Transport Canada sets their priorities and it’s a big country,” Lussier said.
“If we don’t find out by the end of Transport Canada’s fiscal year March 31st then we will keep reapplying and hope for the best.”