Prince Rupert mayor wants regional support for airport

The City of Prince Rupert will be looking into the implications of converting the Prince Rupert Airport (YPR) into a regional operation.

The City of Prince Rupert will be looking into the implications of converting the Prince Rupert Airport (YPR) into a regional operation.

The idea came from Mayor Jack Mussallem, who, at the June 24 council meeting, requested city staff create a report on the regionalization of YPR for council to consider at a future meeting.

Mussallem said the idea came to him as he was reviewing the city’s operations.

“Things are changing here in the greater community, and with that, changes the way we do business … it’s time to look around at how we do business here, and perhaps there should be consideration given to having [YPR] operate as a regional service with everybody contributing to it, rather than have the city just look after it. It is an airport for everybody within the region,” said Mussallem.

“There’s no doubt the airport on Digby Island is not only used by the people in Prince Rupert, but the people in Port Edward, Lax Kw’alaams, Metlakatla, Kitkatla and Hartley Bay. When you consider all of that it’s actually a regional

facility.”

While the city doesn’t currently contribute to the airport’s operations, other than providing funds to the airport ferry, Mussallem said if YPR were a regional operation the city could look at different models for operating the airport

YPR manager Rick Reed said Mussallem’s request was a good idea considering people from all over the region use the facility, and said he’s interested in seeing the findings of the report, which will be reviewed by city staff at an upcoming council meeting.