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

Vibrant alco-inks one of many mediums for sale at club’s annual show

Garibaldi Art Club’s fall show and sale to feature 220 works of art

UPDATE: Arrest made in Maple Ridge purse-snatching incidents, another for fraud

Man and woman, both 34 and from Maple Ridge, facing charges.

Maple Ridge women’s shelter society gets a $2.1-million boost

Cythera Transition House Society gets money for 21 homes

Maple Ridge councillors named to local groups

Division of labour for new council

Clear skies for Fraser Blues Remembrance Day flyby

It was the first time the formation team flew over the Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows Remembrance Day ceremonies

Kuhnhackl scores 2 odd goals as Isles dump Canucks 5-2

Vancouver drops second game in two nights

Fear of constitutional crisis escalates in U.S.; Canadians can relate

Some say President Donald Trump is leading the U.S. towards a crisis

B.C.-based pot producer Tilray reports revenue surge, net loss

Company remains excited about ‘robust’ cannabis industry

Canada stands pat on Saudi arms sales, even after hearing Khashoggi tape

Khashoggi’s death at Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul further strained Riyadh’s already difficult relationship with Ottawa

Feds pledge money for young scientists, but funding for in-house research slips

Canada’s spending on science is up almost 10 per cent since the Liberals took office, but spending on in-house research is actually down

Stink at B.C. school prompts complaints of headaches, nausea

Smell at Abbotsford school comes from unauthorized composting operation

Disabled boy has ‘forgiven’ bullies who walked on him in stream, mom says

A Cape Breton teen who has cerebral palsy was told to lie in a stream as other kids walked over him

Letters shed light on state of mind of B.C. mom accused of daughter’s murder

Trial of South Surrey mother Lisa Batstone begins in BC Supreme Court

Most Read