Councils together on new Pitt airport board

Interim board appointed featuring council members from Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge.

  • Jan. 17, 2017 4:00 p.m.
Pitt Meadows Airport.

Pitt Meadows Airport.

There’s a new plan to steer Pitt Meadows Regional Airport.

The five members of the citizen board are finished their terms and stepping aside, while politicians from both Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows replace them on an interim basis.

By April, they expect to have a new 11-member board.

The interim board will consist of Mayor John Becker and Couns. Bruce Bell and Mike Stark representing Pitt Meadows, with Mayor Nicole Read and Couns. Bob Masse and Tyler Shymkiw from Maple Ridge.

“It’s very pragmatic – we have to move forward and work together,” Read said.

“This represents a great step forward for the Pitt Meadows Airport Society and the new constitution and bylaws position the society for success,” said Becker in the release.

“I look forward to working with the team we have around the table as we move forward from the new governance agreement to the appointment of the new board and establishing our long term vision.”

Read added: “The Pitt Meadows Regional Airport is a key strategic economic asset for our two communities and I look forward to working with our colleagues from Pitt Meadows to attract top quality citizens to sit on the permanent board and work collaboratively on the long term vision for the airport.”

The two cities have separated their working relationships in both tourism and parks and recreation in the past year, and Pitt Meadows council previously asked Maple Ridge to withdraw from airport governance.

Read and her council refused.

Outgoing airport society president Murray Day said the new board will inherit a facility that is on an upswing, with a $2.5 million runway enhancement project almost complete,

Other improvements, such as expansion of the parking lot in the main terminal area, to the sewer system and taxiways on the north side of the airport, are also planned.

The latter work will be finished by the new board.

“We’ve made some great advances, and there’s great work being done by the airport manager,” Day said.

The five members of the board are all on expiring terms. The society bylaws allow for only two three-year terms.

Asked if the two cities have arrived at a structure that will work, Day offered: “I wish them the best of luck.”

The municipalities have completed on an update of the constitution and bylaws for the airport society, which oversees the operation and strategic planning for the airport.

The new constitution and bylaws have been filed with the B.C. Government.

The new board will have 11 directors. City councils will each appoint four directors, and the final three positions will be filled with the consultation of those eight.

The existing board of five members was the minimum to form a quorum. Under the outgoing constitution and bylaws, the board could have up to nine directors, who were appointed by a nomination committee consisting of the president of the airport society and a representative from each city – generally the CAO or their designate.

Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows councils will now establish their own selection process to attract and appoint candidates for the new board.

“Mayor Becker and I would both like to acknowledge the amazing individuals that have served the Pitt Meadows Airport Society as board members in the transition to the new constitution,” said Read. “Their patience and professionalism have been an inspiration for all of us working on this project.”

“I would like to echo the comments of Mayor Read,” said Becker. “On behalf of my council, I thank the outgoing directors and all the people that have served on the Airport Society over the years.”