Government of Canada invests in airport safety across the country



    ALMA, QC, Jan. 23 /CNW Telbec/ - Air travellers and airport workers will
benefit from more than $7 million to enhance airport safety across Canada. The
Honourable Jean-Pierre Blackburn, Minister of National Revenue and Minister of
State (Agriculture), today announced funding under Round One of the federal
government's 2009-2010 Airports Capital Assistance Program.
    "The safety of air travellers and those who work at our airports is a
priority for our government," said Minister Blackburn. "In addition to
strengthening safety at airports, these investments will also contribute to
trade and tourism as well as help to boost local economies."
    "This investment in safety by our government is a win-win for Canadians,"
said Canada's Transport Minister, John Baird. "By investing in projects like
these we are improving the economic potential of our airports and their
surrounding communities."
    The Airports Capital Assistance Program (ACAP) finances capital projects
related to safety, such as the rehabilitation of runways, taxiways, visual
aids and heavy airside mobile equipment. Since the inception of ACAP, the
Government of Canada has invested a total of $476 million for 571 projects at
165 airports, including today's announcement. Over 99 per cent of these
projects were airside projects.
    Backgrounders on ACAP and the selected projects are attached.

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

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

    The Airports Capital Assistance Program (ACAP) 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 with a minimum of 1,000 passengers each year over
the most recent three consecutive years; 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 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, 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 be considered only if the
current facilities have a potentially negative impact on safety at the
airport.
    Through ACAP, the Government of Canada is improving airport safety, as
well as helping the economic viability of this important aspect of Canada's
transportation infrastructure.
    ACAP is an example of the Government of Canada directing infrastructure
resources to where they are most needed and can best enhance safety.

                                                                 January 2009


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

                          ROUND ONE ALLOCATIONS FOR
                          -------------------------
                     THE GOVERNMENT OF CANADA'S 2009-2010
                     ------------------------------------
                 AIRPORTS CAPITAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM PROJECTS
                 --------------------------------------------

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Province     Airport              Project               Total Allocation
                                                                (2009-2010)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Alberta      Grande Prairie   Install runway directional        $79,704
                                  lighting
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Quebec       Alma             Rehabilitate runway            $1,404,550
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Quebec       Alma             Construct sand shed with         $249,801
                                  access road
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Quebec       Baie-Comeau      Rehabilitate field               $484,035
                                  electrical centre
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Quebec       Port-Menier      Rehabilitate the runway        $3,895,745
                                  and taxiway
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Quebec       Rimouski         Install Precision Approach       $245,312
                                  Path Indicator system
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Quebec       Tasiujaq         Replace airfield lighting        $824,911
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Saskat-      Prince Albert    Rehabilitate the field           $429,895
    chewan                        electrical centre
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Round One                                                    $7,613,953
    Total
    2009-2010
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

                                                               January 2009
    




For further information:

For further information: Natalie Boileau, Press Secretary, Office of the
Honourable Jean-Pierre Blackburn, Ottawa, (613) 697-1845; Media Relations,
Transport Canada, Ottawa, (613) 993-0055; Transport Canada is online at
www.tc.gc.ca. Subscribe to news releases and speeches at www.tc.gc.ca/e-news
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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