Statement Regarding Discontinuation of Scheduled Flight Service at Peace River Regional Airport
December 17, 2019
We are saddened to hear that Northern Air has discontinued its scheduled passenger flight service at the Peace River Regional Airport. While the loss of Northern Air’s scheduled service to Edmonton is unfortunate, we are pleased to hear they have successfully diversified their business, operating in many provinces with charter and contract service and will be keeping their headquarters in Peace River.
Scheduled passenger service is important for the Peace River Regional Airport as it helps us secure funding from the Federal Government for capital projects and upkeep, through the Airport’s Capital Assistance Program (ACAP). With this announcement from Northern Air, the Town will be looking into alternate funding options and evaluating the impacts on our ACAP funding, which accounts for an average, based on previous years, of $1.1 million a year in capital funding. We are working on our contingency plan, we have been and continue to actively work towards bringing in a new scheduled service provider. Despite these changes the Peace River Regional Airport remains a valuable asset for the region, providing a base of operations for wildfire and air ambulance services and will continue to operate, currently four out five of the major businesses support provincial operations. Our immediate and long-term number one priority is to keep this valuable asset open and operational.
Progress is also being made on securing a more sustainable operating model for the Airport. In August we issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) regarding the operation of the Peace River Regional Airport, several options and proposals were derived from this process. On November 21, councillors from the Town of Peace River met with the airport funding partners, MD of Peace, Town of Grimshaw, County of Northern Lights, and Northern Sunrise County to review options/proposals. We are now in the process of finalizing an option/proposal but anticipate a positive announcement with details early in the new year.