At an announcement at the airport Sunday, (June 17) the federal government will give the facility $363,000 through its airports capital assistance program to purchase a runway condition reporting system and to replace the airport’s emergency power system.
“These are replacements,” Peach said following the announcement.
“The backup power is a diesel generator and they’ve become dated. Air Canada’s been here since 1942, so some of our infrastructure needs refurbishment. While still operational, we need to replace these on a timely basis to be assured of no failures when we need to use them.”
He said when new technology designed to monitor runway conditions becomes available, “we are obliged to implement those technologies for the safety of our passengers and crew members.”
It’s the latest investment in the airport, which is already undergoing other significant capital improvements.
The airport authority plans to spend more than $5 million in capital improvements over the next year, including up to $1.2 million that will be spent this summer to improve services at the facility.
Among the upgrades will be the construction of washroom facilities for travellers who have cleared security.
The size of the airport will also be increased to allow for the addition of a second security table to make processing passengers more efficient.
To help cover the cost of airport improvements, the airport authority collects a $25 fee from passengers.
Cumberland-Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley Tory MP Scott Armstrong delivered the news on behalf of Transport Minister Denis Lebel.
“Some of these projects aren’t the sexiest things you hear on the nightly news, but they’re important,” he said.
“We’re providing the airport authorities the ability to put the nuts and bolts in place so that they can have airports which attract carriers, and we need those carriers to have access to rural communities.”
Since 1997, Transport Canada has contributed more than $10 million to infrastructure, safety and improvements at the airport through the federal capital assistance program.
The funding is provided for safety-related projects such as runways and taxiways, and to those airports not owned, operated or subsidized by Transport Canada.
The federal government began limiting its role in operating airports in 1994. The Sydney airport has been owned and operated by a local board of directors since 2007.
Cape Breton Post