New airport runway reporting system in the works

Plans are in the works for a new runway condition reporting system at the Canadian Rockies International Airport.

Plans are in the works for a new runway condition reporting system at the Canadian Rockies International Airport. The system improves safety and reporting times for runway conditions.

Council received word that the federal government would cover 85 per cent of the cost of the project under the Airport Capital Assistance Program, leaving the remaining 15 per cent to the city. The estimated cost of the project is $39,665, with $33,715 coming from the federal level and $5,950 coming from the city.

CAO Wayne Staudt noted that the contribution doesn’t come from the city’s general revenue.

“Our contribution of $5,950 towards this project is all from airport operations and there’s no property taxes going in to support any capital projects out at the airport,” Staudt said.

The city has to enter into a contribution agreement with the Government of Canada, which Cranbrook has done for airport capital projects in previous years, most recently was the runway sweeper in 2012.

“This is an ongoing partnership between the federal government and the operation of the airport,” said Coun. Angus Davis. “They do put big dollars into it, so we’re very fortunate that way.”

City staff recommended that council enter into the agreement. The deal would also make the city responsible for any unforeseen overruns in costs, though the agreement allows the city leeway to cancel if the cost gets too high. They also recommended authorizing the mayor and chief administrative officer to sign the agreement on behalf of the city.

Tristen Chernove, managing director of the airport, said Canadian Rockies International Airport didn’t expect the funding to be approved in 2013, so the project was not forecasted in the capital plan. The airport is however ready to move forward with the project in 2013.

Chernove notes that the runway condition reporting system will improve safety by “enabling airport personnel to transmit the condition of the runway in a more timely, consistent and accurate manner.”

The system is in place at large airports and Chernove said it is expected to becoming standard equipment at medium sized airports.