Clarifying the airport’s background

Clarifying misconceptions which may arise from the July 6 Times article "Regional airport's impact studied".

I’m writing this letter to clear up some misconceptions about the Trail Regional Airport, which may arise from statements made in the article “Regional airport’s impact studied “ published July 6 in the Trail Times.

One could conclude from statements made in the article that the Trail Flying Club operated the airport prior to 2005. The Trail Flying Club has never operated the airport.

Originally built by the Consolidated Mining and Smelting Company (Cominco) it serviced their in-house flying service used for exploration in Canada’s north.

Operational responsibility then passed to the City of Trail and finally to the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary where it resides today. It has always been a public use airport open to all types of aircraft operations including medevacs and charters.

The Trail Flying Club is proud of the role it has played since 1947 providing volunteer labour to keep the airport operating and actively promoting the value of the airport to the whole community.

When Northern Hawk Airlines approached the local communities in 2004 with a proposal to begin scheduled service to Vancouver the airport needed to become “certified” to allow for scheduled airline service. This would not have been allowed under the old level of classification.

This certification was completed in record time by a group of individuals from the Regional District, Community groups and the Trail Flying Club. The time span for this successful certification bid was so remarkable the BC Aviation Council recognized this group with its 2005 Award for Excellence in Airport Management.

Trail Flying Club members continue to supply volunteer labour at the airport, some as airport attendants, others provide many different services required to keep the airport functioning in line with its commitments to Transport Canada.

The Flying Club owns the building currently being used as the passenger terminal and leases space to Pacific Coastal Airlines for their customer service functions. We are happy to be a part of Pacific Coastal’s success in the six years since they started providing service between Trail and Vancouver.

Trail Flying Club is convinced now more than ever that the Trail Regional Airport is a vital asset for our communities and has a positive economic impact on the region.

We’re not sure that all local politicians share this view. If you agree that the Trail Regional Airport is of value to our area I urge you to go online to wavepointconsulting.ca/sectors/aviation and show your support for the airport.

This will ensure that the improvements required to allow the airport to continue to grow and provide excellent service to the citizens of our region will happen.

Phil MolloyTrail