The Region of Waterloo International Airport is getting a boost from the federal government. The Breslau facility announced on Thursday a $27,215 investment from the federal government to upgrade its safety infrastructure.
The funding, which comes from the Airport Capital Assistance Program (ACAP), will go to purchase a runway condition reporting system, which will simplify the process of reporting runway safety conditions.
“At one time that was a pretty onerous task with pencil and paper, going out and looking and faxing to London. They would take that information, they would type it in, and send it out,” said Chris Wood, general manger of the airport.
“That used to take upwards of half an hour. With this new system … it’s now instant.”
The airport, built for 243,000 passengers each year, served 138,000 passengers last year – slightly more than half its capacity. Kitchener-Conestoga MP Harold Albrecht used the announcement to make a case for the economic and social viability regional airports. “Canada is a large country with a very mobile population, so airports help to connect us and bring us together as a nation,” said Albrecht.
“That doesn’t just mean large airports in large cities; regional airports also play an integral role in Canada’s transportation system in helping our communities grow.
This airport is a vital gateway for local residents, business, trade, and tourism.”
Albrecht also took the opportunity to frame the investments as part of the Conservative government’s post-recession economic recovery plan, and promised to continue investing in regional airports. “As we move forward, Canada’s regional airports will play an important role in promoting growth, creating jobs, and building long-term prosperity.”
Since ACAP’s introduction, the program has put $609 million into 762 projects at 174 airports. The Breslau airport has received over $6.9 million for five safety projects.