Government of Canada provides funding for airport safety in Quebec

    GATINEAU, QC, Feb. 22 /CNW Telbec/ - Airports in Quebec will enhance
safety, thanks to an investment by the Government of Canada's 2008-2009
Airports Capital Assistance Program. The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister
of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, made the announcement today.
    Quebec airports will share close to $10,710,700 for these safety
    "The safety of the travelling public continues to be a top priority for
our government," said Minister Cannon. "These new projects will enhance safety
and improve the economic potential of a number of airports in Quebec."
    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.

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



    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

    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
    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

                          2008-2009 ALLOCATIONS FOR

    Alma           Replace runway sweeper                             $185.9
    Baie-Comeau    Repair concrete slabs, runway ends and apron       $204.6
    Gatineau       Replace runway sweeper                             $206.0
    Gatineau       Rehabilitate airside surfaces and visual aids    $4,673.4
    Kangiqsujuaq   Regravel runway                                  $2,015.2
    La Grande      Replace runway sweeper                             $199.0
    Mont-Joli      Construct sand shed                                $192.9
    Mont-Joli      Purchase self-propelled snow blower                $463.3
    Puvirnituq     Reconfigure apron                                $1,411.7
    Rouyn-Noranda  Purchase grader                                    $211.1
    Saint-Hubert   Replace runway sweeper                             $209.6
    Saint-Hubert   Replace snowplow truck                             $260.0
    Tasiujaq       Purchase compactor                                 $125.8
    Val-d'Or       Purchase front-end loader with removable snow      $352.2
                   blower and snowplow

    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 Subscribe to news
releases and speeches at 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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