The Comox Valley Airport is reviewing if they are eligible and could qualify for recently-announced COVID-19 provincial funding for transportation services around the province. Black Press file photo

The Comox Valley Airport is reviewing if they are eligible and could qualify for recently-announced COVID-19 provincial funding for transportation services around the province. Black Press file photo

Comox Valley Airport examining options to tap into B.C.’s $16.5 million airport restart funding

Province announced $27 million to help maintain or restart some transportation services

A recent $27 million announcement by the provincial government to help maintain or restart some transportation services is getting a closer look by the Comox Valley Airport.

On March 9, the government announced that bus services and airports can begin applying to the fund – as part of the province’s COVID-19 business recovery fund – to keep them going until travel restrictions are eased later this year.

Transportation Minister Rob Flemming said bus services have a fund of $10.7 million available while regional airports can apply to a $16.5 million fund to cover operating costs.

“We will be reviewing the application, at this stage is just an expression of interest, which we will complete to start the process, but given the number of airports this fund will be open to, it remains to be seen if YQQ will qualify, and if so, to what extent,” explained Erin Neely, market development manager of the Comox Valley Airport.

RELATED: B.C. bus lines, regional airports to get $27M in COVID-19 aid

She added they are grateful to the provincial government for the announcement of funds and support to the vital transportation sector.

Heather Bell, chair of the B.C. Aviation Council, said regional airports generate almost all of their revenue by user fees, and have been among the hardest-hit industries due to COVID-19 travel restrictions. But they still need to meet regulations and maintain their runways, fire safety response and terminal services for medical and other essential travel.

Bell said airports need to be ready for this summer when travel restrictions are likely to be eased, because when travel is allowed, “it’s not going to come back as a flood, it’s going to come back as a tsunami.”

Neely added like most Canadian airports, YQQ is waiting on the federal government to provide a plan to safely restart air travel – when it’s safe to do so – along with a number of other government-led actions to support the industry, their airline partners and the communities they serve.

In January, WestJet Airlines announced a flight reduction across their network – approximately 30 per cent of its previously planned March capacity from the schedule, a more than 80 per cent reduction year over year.

While there are fewer flights in and out of YQQ, Neely noted earlier this year the airport remains fully operational to support essential travel and they are ready to increase capacity when conditions and government regulations allow.

-With files from Tom Fletcher

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry speaks at a press conference Monday, April 18. (B.C. Government image)
New COVID-19 cases tick down on the central Island

New cases held to single digits three days in a row

Wickaninnish (Clifford Atleo) plays the drum while singing the Nuu-chah-nulth song on the court steps in Vancouver In a picture from April 2018. Photo credit, Melody Charlie.
Five Nuu-chah-nulth Nations celebrate legal victory in fishing dispute

Ha’oom Fisheries Society and T’aaq-wiihak Fisheries announce “major legal victory”

Chakalaka Bar & Grill remains open in defiance of orders from Island Health to close. (Cole Schisler photo)
Island Health seeks injunction against restaurant defying COVID-19 orders

VIHA says Chakalaka Bar and Grill also violating water and sewer regulations with RV hook-ups

The hiring of out-of-province workers by the Canadian Red Cross to staff the vaccination centre in Langford has raised eyebrows. (Black Press Media file photo)
Red Cross hires out-of-B.C. workers to staff Island vaccination centre

Staffer worries local jobs weren’t offered to local people

Russ Ball (left) and some of the team show off the specimen after they were able to remove it Friday. Photo supplied
Courtenay fossil hunter finds ancient turtle on local river

The specimen will now make its home at the Royal BC Museum

In this image from NASA, NASA’s experimental Mars helicopter Ingenuity lands on the surface of Mars Monday, April 19, 2021. The little 4-pound helicopter rose from the dusty red surface into the thin Martian air Monday, achieving the first powered, controlled flight on another planet. (NASA via AP)
VIDEO: NASA’s Mars helicopter takes flight, 1st for another planet

The $85 million helicopter demo was considered high risk, yet high reward

Pat Kauwell, a semi-retired construction manager, lives in his fifth-wheel trailer on Maxey Road because that’s what he can afford on his pension, but a Regional District of Nanaimo bylaw prohibits using RVs as permanent dwellings, leaving Kauwell and others like him with few affordable housing options. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Housing crunch or not, it’s illegal to live in an RV in Nanaimo

Regional District of Nanaimo bylaw forcing pensioner to move RV he calls home off private farm land

Families of two of three workers killed in a train derailment near Field, B.C., in 2019 have filed lawsuits accusing Canadian Pacific of gross negligence. The derailment sent 99 grain cars and two locomotives off the tracks. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Families of workers killed in Field train derailment allege negligence in lawsuit

Lawsuits allege the workers weren’t provided a safe work environment

(New Westminster Police)
4 youth arrested after 30-person brawl in New Westminster leaves 1 seriously injured

Police are looking for witnesses who saw the incident take place

Dr. Bonnie Henry gives her daily media briefing regarding Covid-19 for the province of British Columbia in Victoria, B.C, Monday, December 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Toddler marks youngest British Columbian to die related to COVID-19

Child one of eight people to die from virus this weekend

One person has been arrested following an assault on a man with Down syndrome along Dallas Road April 17. (Black Press Media file photo)
Man with Down syndrome attacked along Victoria’s Dallas Road

Suspected assailant arrested, sent to hospital for mental health assessment

Victoria police arrested a wanted man April 19, seizing drugs, firearms and body armour. (Courtesy of VicPD)
Drugs, loaded weapons, body armour seized from Victoria suite

Man was wanted for the possession of drugs for the purpose of trafficking

B.C. Labour Minister Harry Bains. (Hansard TV)
B.C. moves to protect employee pay for COVID-19 vaccination

Most won’t need to take time off work, labour minister says

Most Read