Stakeholders: Digby Island Ferry not a hinderance

A report states the Digby Island Ferry could prevent workers from using Prince Rupert Airport, but stakeholders believe there are solutions.

While a report states the Digby Island Ferry could prevent project workers from using the Prince Rupert Airport, stakeholders believe there are solutions.

The Digby Island Ferry Capacity Analysis, produced by Vancouver group Operations Economic Inc. and commissioned by the Prince Rupert and District Chamber of Commerce, states the ferry’s capacity could hinder the airport’s ability to move project workers, with it being probable that liquefied natural gas companies would look for another way to move workers in and out of Prince Rupert.

“It is unlikely that LNG companies and major construction companies would find 156 passengers per hour as an acceptable level of passenger arrival and departure,” reads the report.

Maureen Macarenko, chair of the Prince Rupert Airport Authority, said the report was accurate and captures the current conditions and challenges of the airport transportation system.

“The report clearly points out our current transportation infrastructure would underserve demand at potential peak times – however, it is hoped the bulk of this demand could be managed through careful coordination of aircraft,” said Macarenko, adding several EPMC companies and work camp operators have expressed their capacity expectations during discussions with the airport authority.

“Without question, the report correctly highlights the need for an upgrade to the buses that serve the system. The report supports our window of opportunity to change and improve an ailing antiquated system to serve our customers well into the future,” she said.

Prince Rupert Mayor Lee Brain said the capacity issue could be resolved.

“With such large investments, I’m confident that many solutions will become available for our ferry once a final investment decision is announced. In the meantime, the City of Prince Rupert is doing its absolute best to provide a great service to our residents and is being proactive in solving the challenges presented,” said Brain.

The Northern View