The Alberni Valley Regional Airport has received a $65,000 BC Air Access grant to help pay for replacement of a weather station at the airport. SUSAN QUINN PHOTO

Alberni Valley Regional Airport to replace aging weather station

$65,000 B.C. Air Access Program grant will help pay for new station

The Alberni Valley Regional Airport has received nearly $65,000 in grant funding to replace its weather station.

The money is coming from a B.C. Air Access Program grant and will help pay for 75 percent of the total cost. The Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District, which manages the regional airport, had budgeted $100,000 to replace the weather station in its 2019 financial plan.

“The Alberni Valley Regional Airport is in need of a new weather station for a couple key reasons,” said Rob Williams, general manager of environmental services for the ACRD.

“First, the current system is no longer supported by the manufacturer and therefore cannot be certified by Transport Canada. Secondly, this new station will provide real-time weather data that is required for our application to Nav Canada for implementation of our GPS approach, which is a final component of the expansion project,” he said.

The BCAAP grants, $8 million in total, were awarded to 16 regional airports for 21 different improvement projects. The BCAAP program is in its fifth year and serve rural airports—many in remote northern communities that struggle to make needed improvements without support.

Applicants are assessed on many factors, including demonstrated need, safety and travel benefits, environmental improvements, links to long-term vision and community support. This year’s recipients have planned projects that will improve airport safety, support medevac and wildfire suppression services, improve economic benefits for the communities that surround them, and reduce environmental risks and greenhouse gas emissions.

There are more than 300 public airports, heliports and water aerodromes in B.C.

The existing automatic weather observation system at the Alberni airport is operational, but not supported. “It’s to support airport operations. It’s for any pilot in-bound or out-bound to know what the weather is,” Williams said. That includes pilots transiting the area.

There are two webcams set up at the weather station as well, giving pilots a view of the area, but not specific information.

Without a weather station, pilots flying in the area must rely on the next available weather station, which means Comox, Nanaimo or Tofino—all areas where the weather can be quite different than in Port Alberni at any given time.

Installing the new weather station is the final step in the AVRA’s application for a published GPS approach to the airport. work to level an access road at the north end of the runway will be completed by the end of summer.

The GPS application has been submitted “and we hope to hear back for implementation for 2020,” Williams said.

Meanwhile, the ACRD’s airport advisory committee will schedule another meeting to discuss creating a vision for the airport and its future uses.



susie.quinn@albernivalleynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

A rainbow glows next to the Alberni Valley Regional Airport following an isolated shower on June 7, 2019. The Alberni Valley often has different weather than other aviation weather reporting stations in Comox and Tofino. SUSAN QUINN PHOTO

Just Posted

BCHL: Bulldogs new coach Joe Martin looking for hard skill, winning attitude

Alberni Valley team heads into new era with new owners, coaches, expectations

China Creek bullhead derby a hit

Derby was organized by the Port Alberni Port Authority

Go Bearfoot in the Park and help kids too in Port Alberni

Fundraising event will take place at Blair Park on Aug. 24

B.C. manhunt suspects left cellphone video before they died: family

Two B.C. suspects of a Canada-wide manhunt reportedly recorded a cellphone video… Continue reading

Sproat Lake residents oppose large-scale cannabis production in their neighbourhood

Community group calls public meeting for Aug. 21 to discuss implications to ACRD land

UPDATE: Wildfire east of Port Alberni under control

Crews continue to mop up 3.1-hectare fire

Vancouver Island RCMP hunt for man after pair of indecent exposure incidents

Elderly Qualicum Beach woman grabbed by man who had been masturbating in the woods

Bodies of two missing Surrey men found near Ashcroft

Ryan Provencher and Richard Scurr have been missing since July 17

Pile of wood mulch ‘spontaneously combusts’ at Vancouver Island industrial site

Business owner thanks fire department for quick response

Five hedgehogs quickly adopted after being left at BC SPCA

Lucky new owners picked up their pets from Maple Ridge branch on Aug. 20

B.C. cricket players get interrupted by racist remark

Community has had protocols in place for years to respond to prejudice

Groovy B.C. wedding a throwback to Woodstock ‘69

Couple hosts themed wedding 50 years after legendary festival

Nearly 50% of Canadians experience ‘post-vacation blues’: poll

48 per cent of travellers are already stressed about ‘normal life’ while still on their trip

Most Read