Opinions about the future of Vernon’s airport range from a smooth approach to turbulence.
About 60 people attended an open house on the city’s draft 20-year master airport plan.
“Some would like to see development and some are concerned a runway extension will increase noise,” said Roy Nuriel, planning assistant.
Each of the plan’s four options provides a different level of development, including airfield enhancements within the current airport site (hangars, helipad, terminal upgrade, apron and taxiway), a runway extension to 1,220 metres towards Okanagan Lake and optional eastward expansion of the airport.
Option one with some facility enhancements but no runway extension would cost about $700,000, while option three has an extension and a $9 million price tag.
Surveys were filled out by those at the input session.
“Sixty per cent of the surveys would like to see the big plan (extension),” said Nuriel, adding that there is 40 per cent support for development among those who are filling out the survey online.
One resident did not select any of the options.
“I don’t feel there is any need for this money to be spent on the airport,” said Dave Lowry, who lives nearby.
“The small development that is being explained in option one seems to be a lot of money spent on a few buildings that will only supply housing for a very few people and aircraft. The option that requires the extension of the runway seems to be a foolish idea as we have an international airport just 25 minutes down the road.”
Nuriel says all of the input is being considered.
“We will analyze the results and see what we will recommend as staff to council.”
Information is at www.vernon.ca/airportmasterplan.