Airports Capital Assistance program funds new safety project in Newfoundland and Labrador



    ST. JOHN'S, April 2 /CNW Telbec/ - The Government of Canada is investing
nearly $1 million to enhance safety at the Deer Lake Airport, under the
Airports Capital Assistance Program.
    "This Government is committed to improving the safety of air services in
communities across the country," said the Honourable Loyola Hearn, Minister of
Fisheries and Oceans and Member of Parliament for St. John's South
Mount-Pearl, on behalf of the Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of
Transport, Infrastructure and Communities. "These safety enhancements will
make sure that this airport can continue to fulfill its role in providing
essential transportation links to Western Newfoundland."
    The Airports Capital Assistance Program finances capital projects related
to safety, asset protection and operating cost reduction. To be eligible,
airports must have year-round regularly scheduled passenger service, meet
Transport Canada airport certification requirements and not be owned or
operated by the Government of Canada.
    Deer Lake Airport is an important player in the economic growth of
Western Newfoundland communities. Adventure tourism is one factor in the
77 per cent increase in passenger traffic since 2000. Today's $940,267 will
support the continued success and safety of this growing airport by financing
70 per cent of the total estimated cost of $1,343,239 for taxiway upgrades and
apron reconfiguration. The airport will fund the remaining 30 per cent of
project costs.
    "The safety and security of the traveling public is a top priority for
the Government of Canada," said Minister Cannon. "These projects will improve
airport safety and protect Canadians. They will also boost the economic
potential of the airports and surrounding communities."

    A backgrounder on the Airports Capital Assistance Program is attached.
    

                                 Backgrounder
                                 ------------
                                 ------------
                                 ------------

                     AIRPORTS CAPITAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
                     -----------------------------------

    The Airports Capital Assistance Program provides funding for capital
projects related to safety, asset protection and operating cost reduction. To
be eligible, an airport must receive year-round regularly scheduled passenger
service, meet Transport Canada airport certification requirements and not be
owned by the Government of Canada.
    The current five-year program will allocate $190 million by March 2010 -
at an average of $38 million per year. Contributions are considered for the
following types of projects:

    First priority projects include safety-related airside projects, such as
rehabilitation of runways, taxiways, aprons, lighting and other utilities,
visual aids and sand storage sheds. This category also includes related site
preparation and environmental costs, aircraft firefighting vehicles and
ancillary equipment and equipment shelters that are necessary to maintain the
level of protection required by regulation.

    Second priority projects include heavy safety-related airside mobile
equipment, such as runway snowblowers, runway snowplows, runway sweepers,
spreaders and decelerometers (winter friction testing devices), and heavy
airside mobile equipment shelters.

    Third priority projects include safety-related air terminal building and
groundside projects, such as sprinkler systems, asbestos removal and
barrier-free access.

    Fourth priority projects include asset protection and refurbishing,
operating cost reduction related to air terminal building or groundside
access.

    Transport Canada also sets priorities based on detailed technical analyses
of facility conditions and maintenance histories, airport traffic and
certification requirements.
    To be eligible, projects must maintain or improve safety levels, protect
airport assets or significantly reduce operating costs. Projects must also
meet accepted engineering practices and be justified on the basis of current
demand. Airport facility expansion projects will only be considered if the
current facilities have a potentially negative impact on safety at the
airport.
    Through the Airports Capital Assistance Program, the Government of Canada
is improving airport safety, as well as helping the economic viability of this
important aspect of Canada's transportation infrastructure.
    The Airports Capital Assistance Program is part of the National Airports
Policy, which calls for the commercialization of designated Canadian airports,
through divestiture to community interests. The policy enables communities to
take greater advantage of their airports, reduce costs, tailor levels of
service to local demand, and attract new and different types of business.

                                                              April 2007
    




For further information:

For further information: Contact: Natalie Sarafian, Press Secretary,
Office of the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, Ottawa,
(613) 991-0700; Steve Outhouse, Director of Communications, Office of the
Minister, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Ottawa, (613) 992-3474; Maurice Landry,
Communications, Transport Canada, Moncton, (506) 851-7562; Transport Canada is
online at www.tc.gc.ca. Subscribe to news releases and speeches at
www.tc.gc.ca/listserv/ and keep up-to-date on the latest from Transport
Canada; This news release may be made available in alternative formats for
persons with visual disabilities


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