Future development at Salmon Arm’s airport is ready for takeoff with the recent completion of an airport development plan.
City council adopted the Shuswap Regional Airport Development Plan on Monday.
Roughly nine years in the making, the primary goal of the plan is to identify and preserve the land for aviation and non-aviation related uses, and to guide future development.
City engineering and public works director Rob Niewenhuizen said an original draft of the plan was completed in 2006, and was finalized in 2007. However, an updated version of the plan was needed to meet help meet the airport’s current goals, as well as Transport Canada’s current technical standards and recommended practices.
Included in the plan are recommendations for immediate and longer-term improvements. One involves the acquisition of land for an extension of the runway.
“We require some additional land at the north end of our runway,” said Niewenhuizen. “This is to make us in compliance with the length of our runway… Once this plan is adopted or approved, then we can take that land as dedication, if that property subdivides, or we can actually work towards a plan of setting up a reserve to purchase the property.”
Two other infrastructure issues that need to be addressed include the construction of a parallel taxiway, along with expansion of the airport’s apron, both of which will help to eliminate congestion during peak periods.
Niewenhuizen said phase one of an environmental report is also part of the plan, which helps identified contaminated areas on site.
“Once this plan is approved, then we will move forward with the second phase of the brownfield study and that will hopefully narrow down the areas that have been identified… and then we can continue to develop the airport.”
A third phase would look at remediation, identifying costs and whether or not it’s even required. Niewenhuizen said the plan’s adoption will help the city in terms of finding grant money for the expansion of the taxiway.
The plan is available on the city’s website at http://www.salmonarm.ca/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Agenda/08042015-226.