Town to consider airport authority

Regional airport should have regional support, says Luchtmeijer

Bill Luchtmeijer

Bill Luchtmeijer

Qualicum Beach councillor Bill Luchtmeijer wants to include the City of Parksville and Regional District of Nanaimo in the future operation of the town’s airport.

He is suggesting the town create a regional airport authority, through an airport area plan.

The town currently operates the airport through the desk of corporate administrator Trudy Coates and Luchtmeijer wants to start the discussion on making a change.

“The facility has a regional benefit,” he said, “and it’s paid for only by Qualicum Beach.”

Stating the town is not an airport expert, Luchtmeijer notes it has done a good job so far — but there could be improvements by adopting an airport authority to run it. An authority, he said, would stay on top of changing federal and provincial rules and include other communities in the cost of its operation.

He has asked town staff to look into the idea and how an authority could take over the airport operation.

Luchtmeijer added that in informal talks with the City of Parksville council and RDN representatives, all parties are open to having the discussion.