Sky Helicopters will expand with a new building at the Pitt Meadows Airport.

Pitt Meadows airport getting $60 million in investment

‘Increased air traffic is being planned over the objections of neighbours’

There are four major projects coming to Pitt Meadows Regional Airport.

Three are new hangar developments to be built, with a combined project value of close to $60 million.

A helicopter park is slated to be constructed in the northwest corner of the property, for maintenance and repair. It will consist of five buildings, each 55,000 square feet in size, and will be occupied as early as 2019.

It will be built in phases.

Sky Helicopters is expanding, with new facility of approximately 20,000 square feet for helicopter and business jet storage, studio rental and office space.

It will also serve as the headquarters for the new Coastal Drones subsidiary business of Sky Helicopters, which is taking advantage of opportunities in filming and other areas.

It is slated for occupancy in late 2019 pr early 2020, and will be located adjacent to the existing Sky Helicopters building in the southeast corner of the property.

A third new building will be built by Fly Guy Aviation, with 20,000 square feet for aircraft storage and another 12,000 square feet for office space and aviation-related commercial businesses. It will be ready for occupancy in late 2019 or early 2020.

“We need to be able to attract more aircraft, and larger aircraft,” said YPK manager Guy Miller.

And the airport is going to do an apron rehabilitation, at a cost of $1.1 million, which will fix cracks, provide more space for parking aircraft, add more than 20,000 square feet of new paving, and provide night lighting.

It should be completed by late summer 2019.

Miller said the airport society has applied for a grant from the province that would cover 50 per cent of the cost.

“It’s a real welcome project – it’s what’s needed,” said Miller.

“This is the building blocks of development. If you build it, they will come.”

Three of the projects are being done by investors.

Pitt Meadows Mayor John Becker has been the chair of the Pitt Meadows Airport Society board of directors and said its k over the past two years, and more work by Miller and his staff, has seen the airport “turn a corner.” It is “poised to become the regional economic engine that we all knew it could be,” Becker added.

“In closing, and in what may be my last speech as society chair, I want to thank Guy Miller for bringing his enthusiasm and open vision to the Pitt Meadows airport, and the airport staff who, to a person, have put up with some snakes-and-ladders governance challenges over the past few years.”

Becker also thanked Maple Ridge councillors who served as directors – Bob Masse, Gordy Robson and Craig Speirs – for their commitment.

“It hasn’t been easy at times, but we are dialed in on the right heading.”

The “heading” that brings more and larger aircraft to YPK sets a course for more noise and disruption in the neighbourhood, according to neighbour Ron Bennewith.

“It’s going be noisy, but there is nothing we can say or do,” he said.

The Bonson Road resident said he and others from the neighbourhood, including Ford Road residents, tried to have some input into airport development, but it was not welcomed.

He said increased air traffic is being planned over the objections of neighbours, and they have no ability to stop it.

Smaller aircraft are fine, he said, but executive jets, larger passenger aircraft and circling helicopters bring significant disruption.

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Fly Guy Aviation is going to be offering hangars and office space for companies.

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