Increased service levels at the Trail Regional Airport had council reviewing site operations before adding one new full-time job and hiring two casuals for an existing position.
“Council was presented with a pro-forma 2018 Airport Budget as part of the decision to hire a full-time Airport Maintenance Technician (AMT) and two casual Airport Operation Specialists (AOS),” explained Chief Administrative Officer David Perehudoff.
“These positions were recently posted in the public and have now been filled,” he clarified.
“Due to various issues raised by the Union and to deal with the operational demands associated with running the airport and now owning and operating the Airport Terminal Building, the city’s service obligations have increased further and had to be addressed in terms of the new organizational structure and approach that council endorsed.”
Perehudoff added, “In addition and based on the new demands, the ‘airport volunteers’ will be phased on and may be used in a different capacity, more as airport ambassadors, as opposed to being the ground crew.”
The 2018 Budget will be formally presented for approval as part of the normal process but council was made aware of the financial impacts as part of the plan they endorsed.
The current property tax projection forecasts the airport budget to increase 2.24 per cent next year or $16,950 net after revenue.
Net costs this year, funded from property tax revenue, are noted to be $92,100 with a revenue of $315,000 versus expense at $407,600.
Coun. Kevin Jolly, chair of the Airport Steering Committee (ASC), provided project updates during this week’s regular council.
The $4.2 million runway rehabilitation job was completed ahead of schedule last month, notably the project was funded by federal dollars through the Airport Capital Assistance Program.
Paving of the parking lot is currently underway. When the job is finished, 55 paved parking stalls will be available in addition to a gravel overflow area that combined, will enable parking for 80 to 100 vehicles.
Interior work is winding down in the new $3 million terminal building, completion is expected by mid-November.
“The risk of not meeting key deadlines at this point is deemed to be low,” Jolly reported.
In regards to the new build, Airport Manager Robert Baker says what was most important to staff and the ASC was to maintain as many “good things” people enjoy in the existing terminal – that being proximity to the airside.
“They are right there when the aircraft arrives and (can) see their friends and family arriving and leaving,” Baker told the Trail Times. “So we made it a priority to try and include that in the new building,” he said.
“So what you’ll find is that the new fence line gets us as close to the aircraft apron as possible so people can still see their loves ones boarding and leaving on the airplane, as well as when they arrive.”
The new fence line will be developed with landscaping in the new year.
“So that will be a key piece of trying to maintain what people already like about the existing terminal, we don’t want to lose that.”
Baker described an interesting feature on the inside of the new facility.
“We have a wall mural that will depict the history of aviation within the Consolidated Mining and Smelting Company (Cominco),” he revealed. “As well as a bit of history about how the airport lands developed of the last 80-plus years … so that’s a key piece to help draw people to the past, recognize how the airport lands developed, and recognize some of the people that helped build it.”
Another terminal feature takes younger travellers into account.
“There is a kids corner which is going to have some toys as well as a cartoon-like mural of east, west and downtown Trail as well as Warfield and Rossland,” Baker explained. “That is being sponsored by ReMax All Pro Realty, it’s a very special mural that reflects the character of our region, so we’re super happy with it.”