Friday, July 5, 2013

North West Airports focusing on the future

As we outlined earlier this week on the blog, YPR the airport gateway serving Prince Rupert and area is seeking some feedback from the public on the nature of air travel on the North Coast and in the Northwest in general.

Their efforts come about as the topic of air travel in the Northwest seems to be moving towards the future, with the Terrace-Kitimat airport recently signing a contract with an airport consultant to seek out improvements and plan for the future of that Northwest travel option.

The nature of that partnership will find Air Biz of New Zealand providing assistance to the Terrace airport to develop a twenty year vision, by consulting user groups, owners, stakeholders and staff.

Terrace Standard -- Airport to develop 20 year plan

AirBiz will present their findings on that theme by January of 2014, providing a blue print for the future of the airport.  Terrace is finding growth arriving more and more frequently of late, with an increase in traffic anticipated with recent additions to the airport departure and arrivals board.

Terrace recently announced another record year for passenger travel to and from their airport and the potential for growth appears quite high.

With that hopeful future in mind, plans are already in place to expand some of the logistical aspects of the Terrace airport from increasing the holding area for passengers and baggage capacity, to creating a new layout of the airport tarmac to handle traffic better.

Prince Rupert is also looking to change some of the dynamic of our airport, the Mayor at the last Council meeting offered up a quick thought to Council that there is a need to reflect a more regional nature for YPR.

Highlighting the fact that the Prince Rupert airport is a gateway for many of the local communities in the region.

Northern View-- Prince Rupert Mayor wants regional support for airport

You can review his thoughts from the City Council Archive for Monday, June 24 (the Mayor's comments and instructions to staff come at the 1hour 58 minutes to 1 hour 59 minutes mark).

The City would seemingly like to see the airport seek out a different model for operations, drawing from other assets from around the North Coast.

The city has tasked staff to provide for a report on the topic, to be delivered at a future council session.

The Prince Rupert Airport hasn't seen the same expansion of flight options that their competitor in Terrace has gained over the last year or so. It's a situation that of late  has made the Terrace airport a workable option for travellers, particularly in the non winter months when travel to Terrace isn't quite as problematic.

The lure of more frequent flights and the nature of travel from Prince Rupert to the Digby Island airport is providing for a few North Coast residents to choose the trip to Terrace for their travel arrangements, it's those travellers that YPR no doubt would like to repatriate heading into the future.

You can review other items of interest on air travel in the Northwest from our Air Transportation archives.

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