Pitt council choose to seek funding for a new pump station rather than airport improvements.

Council denies runway expansion grant

Airport society can still pay for extension.

The Pitt Meadows Airport Society could still proceed with a runway extension, despite city council declining to support an application for a federal grant.

Last week, Pitt council kiboshed a potential two-thirds grant for upgrades at Pitt Meadows Regional Airport (YPK).

The not-for-profit society that runs the airport has the financial means to complete the extension without grant support, said general manager Elvio Pecchia, and the board is “still analyzing the opportunity.”

He said the project could cost millions of dollars.

The extension is necessary for the airport, and the businesses there, to continue their expansion.

“It’s to provide the opportunity for existing businesses to grow,” said Pecchia.

The airport currently has three asphalt runways, and has 260 hectares, and about half of it is still available for development. It caters to flying training, aircraft maintenance businesses, and commercial charter operations.

The airport plans to extending its 4,700 foot runway to 5000 feet, to allow for regional turboprop and jet service. It also wants to provide additional taxiways and an end-of-runway turnaround.

“The airport has a lot of potential, and we would like to stimulate growth, employment and expertise,” said Pecchia. “It could be a very good economic generator for the community as a whole.”

The Building Canada Small Communities Fund could have provided up to two-thirds of the cost of the extension, but council decided that the Pitt Polder Pump Station Replacement should be its priority project in asking for federal funding.

Councillors were concerned about asking the feds for too much.

“There might be a sense that we are over-reaching,” said Mayor John Becker.

Council based its decision on the pump being a priority, the concerns of residents living near YPK, and a lack of consultation by the airport society.

Becker said the society operates at arms length from Pitt council, with members appointed by both Pitt and Maple Ridge city halls. He said the city shouldn’t micromanage the board members, but would like to meet with the board about airport expansion plans.

Becker acknowledged the airport has great economic development potential, but its operations “can and do impact the lifestyle of residents.”

There were about 12 residents in attendance at the meeting to oppose the runway extension.

Johanne Rensmaag and Ken Joyner have been among the outspoken opponents of YPK expansion.

“We understand that the airport is a huge asset to both Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge, and of course none of us would say that the airport should just go away and that is not our intention,” Rensmaag said.

“Any future growth of the airport regarding the proposed runway extension should involve the people of Pitt Meadows, as it is we that will have to live with the added noise, air pollution and the increased safety issues of such a decision.”

 

Just Posted

Pitt Meadows council looking at 5.53 per cent budget increase

Budget deliberations include adding another cop this year, and every three years

Host Marauders win tournament championship

Edge Okanagan Mission 72-63 in sr. boys’ final.

Man paralyzed when tree fell on truck in Pitt Meadows

Freak accident during December wind storm

End ‘exploitative’ parking fees at Lower Mainland hospitals, group says

HospitalPayParking.ca is criticizing a new contract between health authorities and Impark

VIDEO: Here’s what the B.C. legislature officers are accused of buying

Personal trips, purchases, alcohol and more laid out in 76-page report by Plecas

Former Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay voted into Baseball Hall of Fame

M’s legend Edgar Martinez, Rivera, Mussina also make the grade

South Surrey mother ‘never called 911’ after killing daughter, court hears

Crown submits evidence shows Lisa Batstone wanted eight-year-old Teagan to die

Why would the B.C. legislature need a firewood splitter?

First sign of police involvement in investigation of top managers

New Canada Food Guide nixes portion sizes, promotes plant-based proteins

Guide no longer lists milk and dairy products as a distinct food group

Heavy snowfall expected for Coquihalla, Okanagan valley

Coquihalla highway, the Connector, and Highway 3, from Princeton to Allison Pass are getting snow.

Judge annuls hairdresser’s forced marriage to boss’ relative

Woman was told she’d be fired if she didn’t marry boss’s Indian relative so he could immigrate here

Video: Runaway Coquihalla dog returned to owner

Archer, the dog found roaming along Coq. Hwy. on Jan. 19, has been reunited with owner

Most Read