Vernon’s regional airport is one of 55 in the province that hosts medevac services and because of that, it was awarded a grant of up to $360,000 to help cover some operational costs.
The province announced its one-time $6.2-million grant for inter-city bus operators and $16.5 million for regional airports as a COVID-19 relief response.
“Our government is working to keep vital services operating during this unprecedented time, and this funding will help British Columbians – especially those in rural areas of the province – have a safe and reliable way to travel to essential appointments,” Transportation Minister Rob Fleming said.
“With this investment, inter-city buses and regional airports will now have the funding they need to continue operating and serving people.”
The funds will be used locally to help maintain air terminals, runways and cover other operations, the City of Vernon announced March 31.
“The city is grateful for the province’s recognition of the important work that takes place at regional airports such as Vernon’s, and the financial support that is being provided to maintain its operations,” Mayor Victor Cumming said.
“The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have reached every corner of our community — including our airport — so this funding will be well utilized.”
The grant may also be used to cover payroll, rent and overhead costs to keep the airport afloat.
Kelowna International Airport was also awarded funds.
“We want to congratulate the province for showing national leadership in supporting and recognizing the importance of B.C. airports to the global economy,” YLW airport director Sam Samaddar said.
“This funding will provide a lifeline to YLW to maintain critical airport services that support cargo operations and medevac services while we wait for commercial air service to recover.”