This photo, courtesy the Trail Historical Society, shows the first airplane in the Trail area parked at the Columbia Gardens airfield, circa 1929. The aircraft belonged to W.M Archibald. The city operated Columbia Gardens Airport until 1937, and then the District of Tadanac until 1959. When Trail and Tadanac amalgamated in 1969, the city again took over operations. Then, in 1982, the lease was transferred to the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB). Trail bought the asset back in 2014, paying $1.28M to the RDKB.

Archibald’s Aircraft

First plane at the Trail airport circa 1929

Trail airport history:

The Trail Airport began as the Columbia Gardens Airport.

It was established in 1929 by the Consolidated Mining and Smelting Company (now Teck Resources), when the company began operating a fleet of airplanes for mineral exploration across Canada.

A 2,000-foot landing strip and a large hangar to house the fleet was constructed.

Columbia Gardens Airport was leased, maintained and operated by the City of Trail until 1937, and then the District of Tadanac until 1959.

For the next 10 years, the City of Trail and the District of Tadanac shared the lease, until the amalgamation of Trail and Tadanac in 1969.

After amalgamation and for another 13 years, the City of Trail took over complete responsibility for operations.

Then, in 1982, the lease was transferred to the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary.

Trail Regional Airport – known as YZZ – now:

In 2014, the city paid $1.28M to buy back the airport from the regional district.

There has been significant investment to modernize the municipal asset since then, mostly through federal and provincial grants.

In the past six years, the Trail Regional Airport has received more than $4.8M in ACAP funding for four safety projects, including the rehabilitation of airside pavement; the purchase of a runway condition reporting system; and the replacement of a snowplow truck and runway sweeper.

The first dedicated terminal was completed in 2017 using a $1.2M grant from the province, with the city funding the remaining $2.2M.



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