Check against delivery
Good afternoon, and thank you for being here today.
I would like to welcome Madame Lebouthillier, Minister of National Revenue, and MP Michael McLeod to Yellowknife Airport, the largest airport in the Northwest Territories and the gateway to our communities and southern destinations.
The Government of the Northwest Territories has been actively working with the Government of Canada to advance infrastructure needs throughout the Territory, and today we are pleased to acknowledge Transport Canada’s support and commitment of more than $2.5 million dollars from the Airport Capital Assistance Program for the airfield lighting rehabilitation project. In addition, the GNWT will contribute 15% of the total project cost; bringing the value of the project to over $3 million dollars.
Today’s funding announcement will see significant changes to airfield lighting on Runway 16-34, the primary runway of Yellowknife Airport. Funds will also be used for the installation of a frost free Precision Approach Path Indicator System on runway 16.
To date, the Department of Infrastructure has received ACAP funding totalling approximately $27. 5 million for 13 projects including: airfield lighting rehabilitation, surface rehabilitation, drainage improvements and emergency response and mobile heavy equipment here at Yellowknife Airport, and other airports across the Northwest Territories.
In fact, we may just get a glimpse of the Airport Emergency Response Vehicle that was part of previous funding before the afternoon is over. The Response Vehicle is a valuable tool in the toolbox of emergency planning that can be called upon to save lives and reduce property damage, should it be required.
While today’s funding announcement helps us strengthen our airport infrastructure of the Northwest Territories, it does more than that. These important improvements will lower energy costs, build on the safety of NWT visitors and residents but also support economic opportunities through the central hub of the NWT airport system and increase traveller confidence.
The new LED lighting system will mean lower energy costs through the reduction of energy consumption. Maintenance and repair at Yellowknife Airport costs will also be reduced.
These improvements allow us to share this advantage with international aerospace companies, such as Bell Helicopters. Bell is currently working out of Yellowknife Airport and has brought a team of approximately 30 engineers and others to work in a cold weather testing environment.
These partnerships create opportunities for businesses across the north, and encourage stays in our hotels, visits to restaurants and tourist destinations.
We are pleased that Canada and the Government of the Northwest Territories are once again working together to develop and maintain safe infrastructure that northerners, and all Canadians will benefit from.