Canada's new government funds Yukon airport safety project



    WHITEHORSE, April 2 /CNW Telbec/ - Canada's New Government is investing
$500,825 to enhance safety at Old Crow 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 Lawrence Cannon, Minister
of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities. "This safety enhancement ensures
the airport will continue to fulfill its role as the essential transportation
link for the Yukon's most northerly community."
    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, they must
meet Transport Canada airport certification requirements and they cannot be
owned or operated by the Government of Canada.
    "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 Old Crow Airport is owned and operated by the Government of Yukon.
Air North provides year-round regularly scheduled passenger service. Old Crow
Airport is the only reliable year-round means of transportation to the remote
community of Old Crow. Food, fuel and other essential supplies are all shipped
in using the services of the airport. The safety improvement involves the
purchase of a loader with snowblower and other attachments. Including today's
announcement, the airport has received more than $4 million since its
transfer. Previously funded projects include runway resurfacing and the
installation of incursion control fencing.
    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 or operated 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 heavy air terminal building
and groundside projects, such as sprinkler systems, asbestos removal and
barrier-free access.
    Fourth priority projects include asset protection and refurbishing, and
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; Susan McLennan, Communications, Transport Canada, Winnipeg, (204)
983-6315; 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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