Canada's New Government funds eight new safety projects at Ontario airports



    WINDSOR, ON, April 2 /CNW Telbec/ - Airports in Ontario will receive more
than $8 million to fund eight new projects to enhance their safety. Jeff
Watson, Member of Parliament for Essex, today announced this funding under the
Government of Canada's 2007-08 Airports Capital Assistance Program on behalf
of the Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and
Communities.
    "Today's funding announcement is another important step in ensuring the
safety of our airports and the economic health of their surrounding
communities," said Mr. Watson. "This is tangible proof that Canada's New
Government is prepared to invest in the safety and economic success of
Ontario's air freight and passenger services."
    "The safety and security of the traveling public is a top priority for
Canada's New Government," 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."
    The Airports Capital Assistance Program finances capital projects related
to safety, asset protection and operating cost reduction. 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.

    The money will be distributed to airports in:

    
        - Attawapiskat, where $279,720 will cover the purchase of a loader
          with snowblower and attachments.
        - Hamilton, where $1,053,000 will purchase an airport fire-fighting
          vehicle.
        - North Bay, where $329,656 will cover 95 per cent of the total
          estimated cost of $347,006 for airfield electrical rehabilitation.
        - North Spirit Lake, where $100,440 will purchase a snowblower.
        - Sioux Lookout, where $4,445,000 will cover 95 per cent of the total
          estimated cost of $4,678,138 for apron and taxi A rehabilitation
          and an airfield lighting control panel; and $382,185 will cover
          75 per cent of the total estimated cost of $402,300 for replacing a
          snowblower.
        - Webequie, where $99,360 will purchase a snowblower.
        - Windsor, where $1,927,005 will cover 75 per cent of the total
          estimated cost of $2,569,340 for the rehabilitation of taxiways
          F and G and replacement of the airfield lighting control panel.

    Backgrounders on the Airports Capital Assistance Program and the selected
Ontario projects are attached.



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

                 AIRPORTS CAPITAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (ACAP)
                     FUNDS EIGHT NEW PROJECTS IN ONTARIO
                     -----------------------------------

    The Attawapiskat Airport is located 500 miles north of Timmins, along the
western coast of James Bay. The community can be accessed year-round only by
air. Today's $279,720 announcement will purchase a loader with snowblower and
attachments - essential equipment to northern airfields.
    Hamilton's airport, the John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport, is
owned by the City of Hamilton and managed by the TradePort International
Corporation. It is Canada's largest inter-modal freighter airport and services
all major Canadian and international destinations. It is considered by many to
be a key economic driver for the City of Hamilton. Today's announcement of
ACAP funding will provide the $1,053,000 needed to purchase an airport
fire-fighting vehicle.
    The North Bay Jack Garland Airport is an important aviation hub in
northern Ontario, serving over 100,000 people in the City of North Bay and the
surrounding districts of Nipissing, Parry Sound and Temiskaming. The airport
contributes much to the local economy, with initiatives such as aviation
training, aircraft maintenance and aircraft assembly. Today's announced ACAP
funding of $329,656 will cover 95 per cent of the total estimated cost of
$347,006 needed for airfield electrical rehabilitation.
    North Spirit Lake Airport is essential to the economic life of this
northwestern Ontario wilderness industry destination. Tourism and sport
fishing depend on the airport to bring clients and supplies to this isolated
community. Today's ACAP contribution of $100,440 will purchase a snowblower.
    The Sioux Lookout Airport is one of the busiest airports in Northwestern
Ontario, handling approximately 100,000 passengers on 30,000 flights, every
year. It is a "Mini-Hub" for passengers, sportsmen and cargo to the
communities and fishing and hunting areas further north. The Sioux Lookout
Airport services scheduled and charter flights; and serves as a base for the
Ontario Air Ambulance Service (MOH) and the Nishnawbe - Aski Police Service
(NAPS). Nearly $5 million in ACAP funding was announced today: $4,445,000 will
cover 95 per cent of the total estimated cost of $4,678,138 for apron and
taxi A rehabilitation and an airfield lighting control panel; and $382,185
will cover 75 per cent of the total estimated cost of $402,300 for replacing a
snowblower.
    The Webequie Airport provides the only year-round access to the community
and surrounding area. A growing wilderness tourism industry depends on the
airfield to carry clients and supplies in and out. Today's announced $99,360
in ACAP funds will purchase a snowblower to support the economic contribution
this airport is making to the Webequie community.
    The Windsor Airport is owned by the City of Windsor and privately operated
by Serco Aviation Services. Recent improvements have increased opportunities
for this airport, located in Canada's largest catchment market of over 5
million people within 65 km. Today's announced $1,927,005 will cover 75 per
cent of the total estimated cost of $2,569,340 for the rehabilitation of
taxiways F and G and replacement of the airfield lighting control panel. These
are important projects that ensure safety and support the economic benefits of
developing new routes and services in the domestic, transborder and charter
markets in the greater Windsor-Detroit area.

                                                                  April 2007



                                 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 heavy 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: Natalie Sarafian, Press Secretary, Office of
the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, Ottawa, (613)
991-0700; Nancy Jahn, Director, Communications, Office of Jeff Watson, MP,
(613) 818-2221; Paula Fairfax, Communications, Transport Canada, Toronto,
(416) 952-0157; 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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