Government of Canada provides funding for airport safety equipment in Eastern Quebec



    MONT-JOLI, QC, Feb. 21 /CNW Telbec/ - Two airports in Eastern Quebec will
receive close to $842,100 for new equipment, under the Government of Canada's
2008-2009 Airports Capital Assistance Program. The Honourable Jean-Pierre
Blackburn, Minister of Labour and Minister of the Economic Development Agency
of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, made the announcement today on behalf of
the Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and
Communities.
    Mont-Joli Airport will receive $463,300 to purchase a self-propelled snow
blower, and $192,900 to construct a sand shed. Alma Airport will receive
$185,900 to replace a runway sweeper.
    "I am pleased that our government has committed to this important
funding," said Minister Blackburn. "The new equipment will contribute to
maintaining smooth operations and enhance safety at these Quebec airports."
    "The safety of the travelling public continues to be a top priority for
our government," said Minister Cannon. "Providing funds for new equipment will
help these airports to maintain safety for air passengers."
    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, they must meet
Transport Canada airport certification requirements, and they cannot be owned
or operated by the Government of Canada.
    Since its creation, the program has distributed over $466 million for
562 projects at 164 airports. Over 99 per cent of these were airside
safety-related projects such as the rehabilitation of runways, taxiways,
visual aids and heavy airside mobile equipment.

    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.

                                                                February 2008
    





For further information:

For further information: Karine White, Press Secretary, Office of the
Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, Ottawa, (613) 991-0700;
Marie-Anyk Côté, Transport Canada, Communications, Quebec Region, (514)
633-2742; Transport Canada is online at www.tc.gc.ca. Subscribe to news
releases and speeches at apps.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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