Four options for growth at Vernon regional airport have been presented to members of the Okanagan Indian Band at a meeting at City Hall, Friday.
“There's a lot to digest,” said Lyle Brewer, OKIB Councillor, referring to a thick report tucked under his arm.
“We will respond after we've sat down with impacted land owners (on the reserve) and council,” Brewer said, following his meeting with city staff and Councillor Catherine Lord to review the report.
The draft airport master plan sets out differing scenarios for the future of the airport, varying from maintaining existing airport assets with safety improvements all the way to acquiring property for a runway extension, new hangars and a helipad.
“Based on the economic impact analysis for various development scenarios, the runway extension offers only a marginal increase in economic activity and would have a detrimental impact on surrounding neighborhoods, particularly with regard to noise and development potential,” stated the report.
“The current runway length also meets the needs of approximately 97 per cent of aircraft movements at the airport, and would fulfill most of the airport's needs for the next 20 years.”
Figures show 130 aircraft were based at the airport in 2014, most single engine, general aviation used by private owners. The airport is also used by Kal Aviation, Okanagan Skydive, Coldstream Helicopters and Advantage Helicopters.
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