Debate soars over Vernon airport extension possibly being scrapped

City staff staff has recommended not to extend the airport runway from 3,500 to 4,000 feet.

There’s some high-flying debate over the future of Vernon Regional Airport.

Some city council members expressed concern Monday with a staff recommendation not to extend the airport runway from 3,500 to 4,000 feet.

“It would be one way to attract corporate offices to Vernon,” said Coun. Scott Anderson on some company’s being reliant on aircraft.

“We have one now, Kal Tire, and even if we had three, it would make a substantial difference.”

Mayor Akbal Mund also questions if maintaining a shorter runway will hamper the community’s economic development opportunities.

“How will that affect the corporate sector? Does the additional 500 feet bring corporate jets to safety standards.”

The extension would cost about $5.2 million.

“Based on the economic impact analysis for various development scenarios, the runway extension offers only a marginal increase in economic activity and would have a detrimental impact on surrounding neighbourhoods, particularly with regard to noise and development potential,” said Roy Nuriel, long ranger planner, in a report.

“The current runway length also meets the needs of about 97 per cent of aircraft movements at the airport.”

Transport Canada has dictated that any runway extension must occur by September 2017.

“If we don’t extend the runway now, that’s it forever. But the benefit doesn’t rationalize the cost,” said Coun. Catherine Lord.

However, Mund also points to the growing number of planes of all sizes using the airport.

“The extension could be important,” he said.

In 2014, there were about 15,485 takeoffs and landings.

On Monday, Nuriel presented a draft of the airport master plan.

It proposes upgrades to the airport and development of land to the north for industrial uses. Through city and private dollars, the price tag could be $5.8 million.

Presently, 97 people work at businesses at the airport, generating $6.5 million in wages and benefits and an economic impact of $11.1 million.

Nuriel is calling on the city to abandon a previous strategy for housing units inside hangars.

“Many of the stakeholders say they’d rather live somewhere nicer than the airport,” he said.

The city is consulting with the Okanagan Indian Band about the master airport plan and the document will be before council Jan. 25 for discussion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just Posted

Okanagan teenagers found after missing for four days

The pair, believed to be dating, had been missing since Nov. 15.

Two-vehicle Vernon crash ‘looks worse than it is’

Nobody injured in accident that happened just before 5 p.m. in 2800 block of 45th Street

Kamloops woman sues Armstrong IPE for Slingshot mishap

Woman claims ride gone wrong caused injury, loss of wages and other damages

Lake Country burglars on the loose after attempted robbery

Two masked individuals tried to empty the Turtle Bay Pub’s ATM on Monday morning

Cirque-inspired Nutcracker sleigh rides into outdoor Armstrong theatre

Caravan Farm Theatre stages unique re-imagining of beloved Christmas classic

Investigation ongoing in south Vernon shots fired

RCMP have no updates from Nov. 1 incident

UPDATED: Vancouver Island’s Joe gets suspended sentence in Teddy the dog cruelty case

Melissa Tooshley expected in court on Thursday in same case

Alleged drunk driver survives crash into Kettle River

The crash happened Saturday near Grand Forks

Woman ‘horrified’ after being told to trek 200 kilometres home from Kamloops hospital

‘I can’t get from Kamloops back to 100 Mile House injured, confused… no shoes, no clothes whatsoever’

Canadian universities encourage exchange students in Hong Kong to head home

UBC said 11 of its 32 students completing programs in Hong Kong have already left

Midget no more: Sweeping division name changes coming to minor hockey in Canada

Alpha-numeric division names will be used for the 2020-2021 season and beyond

Duncan man gets suspended sentence in Teddy the dog cruelty trial

Joe also gets lifetime ban on owning animals

B.C. pushes for greater industry ‘transparency’ in gasoline pricing

Legislation responds to fuel price gap of up to 13 cents

Most Read