Government of Canada provides funding for airport safety in northern Alberta



    GRANDE PRAIRIE, AB, July 8 /CNW Telbec/ - Airports in northern Alberta
will receive funding to enhance safety, thanks to an investment by the
Government of Canada through the 2008-2009 Airports Capital Assistance
Program. Chris Warkentin, MP for Peace River, made the announcement today on
behalf of the Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Transport,
Infrastructure and Communities.
    Two airports in northern Alberta will receive up to $749,479 in funding
for new equipment.
    "This government is demonstrating its commitment to aviation safety all
across the country," said Mr. Warkentin. "This new equipment will help Grande
Prairie and High Level airports to enhance safety for air passengers."

    The funds will be distributed to airports in:

    
    - Grande Prairie, where $105,414 will cover the cost to purchase a sand
      truck and a truck-mounted sander, and $366,570 will cover the cost to
      replace a snow blower; and
    - High Level, where $277,495 will cover the cost of a front-end loader
      and attachments.
    

    "The safety of the travelling public continues to be a top priority for
our government," said Minister Cannon. "This funding will enable airports in
northern Alberta to enhance safety."
    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 $468 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 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 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.

                                                                   July 2008
    




For further information:

For further information: Karine White, Press Secretary, Office of the
Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, Ottawa, (613) 991-0700;
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/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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