Castlegar Council Discusses Airport Fees

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Castlegar City Council passed first three readings for The West Kootenay Regional Airport's Passenger Facility Fee Bylaw on Monday, May 16th, with adoption set for May 30th.

This increase to $25 comes as the existing seven-dollar departing passenger charge has not been updated since 2002.

“Finally…. There are a couple of us around this table that have been asking for the fees to be increased for the last eight years, maybe nine years because our fees were so low and we always had the vision that we could collect fees to do stuff at the airport so we’re not taxing people of Castlegar for the airport. Because it really is a regional airport and everyone should share that service, so this is a great way of doing it.” says Councillor Sue Heaton-Sherstobitoff

“This has been on the books now for a number of years and we’ve known that we needed to get this in place but there were things that came alone. First of all you have to get the airline to sing off on it. Then we had the COVID(19) situation which has taken up the last two to three years obviously….” adds Councillor Dan Rye

Councillor Maria McFaddin expressed concern that the increase might be too much, but Airport Manager Maciej Habrych says he’s confident in his plans for the facility:

“There is a lot of consultation with Air Canada and Air Canada at the end of the day endorses that fee, because they are the ones who are charging it…. on their ticket price. So if they felt at that there was overreaching then they wouldn’t endorse it or they would come back with a lower number….”

The fees would support ongoing capital investments at the West Kootenay Regional Airport as newer aircrafts are larger and accelerating capacity issues. The Bounce Radio Newsroom will have more on that topic to follow.