Airport service an expense that should be shared

Former Trail councillor Fred Romano has some questions regarding the proposed sale of the Trail airport.

After reading the articles in the Trail Daily Times and listening to the news story on CBC radio that Trail council has unanimously agreed to investigate the purchase of the airport lands and take over the operation of the Trail Regional airport a few questions come to mind.

I assume that there is back up information presented to council on the benefits, risks and estimated annual financial costs required to subsidize the Trail REGIONAL airport before council makes the decision.  The “Economic Impact Assessment Study for the Regional Airport” a report commissioned by the Regional District East End committee lists the benefits and risks of the Master Plan.

I find that this one sentence in the EIA report very interesting.

“Political and business leaders concerned with airport planning and development need to think carefully and cautiously about future investments.”

I hope that before council finalizes an agreement to purchase the airport lands residents of Trail are provided the financial implications of what operating an airport entails.  Especially if there is an annual operating deficit that Trail taxpayers will be paying the full amount.

The regional airport has been subsidized by the regional taxpayers every year.  Currently; Trail’s tax base pays 45 per cent of the property tax requisition.

As a former Trail councillor that sat on regional board I supported the Trail Regional Airport, the Trail Airport Master plan and still do.   I really do not support taking over a regional service without some justification. The airport is a real benefit to the whole area and that is why the whole east end region should be funding it.

Fred RomanoTrail