MOUNTAIN VIEW COUNTY - A provincial program aimed at helping community airports should be expanded to include additional infrastructure such as secondary runways, says Mountain View County council.
In a request outlined in a one-page summary accepted by council at the recent meeting, the county is calling for the minister of Alberta Jobs, Economy and Trade to expand the Community Airport Program (CAP).
Specifically, the county would like to see the program eligibility, currently delivered through the Strategic Transportation Infrastructure Program (STIP) to include other capital components necessary for aerodrome operation including internal roadways, buildings and/or secondary runways.
Currently the CAP program only allows funding to be allocated towards primary runways, aprons and taxiways.
“Although the county’s been successful in securing CAP funding previously for a runway expansion, many other capital projects are required at the aerodromes to ensure that ongoing maintenance of the facility is undertaken and to permit for further expansion of these facilities in an attempt to generate increased economic activity,” the note states.
The county has approved expenditures of about $700,000 at its two airports, with an additional $300,000 to be considered in the 2024 budget cycle.
“None of these expenses incurred were eligible under the CAP program but contributed significantly to the marketability and usability of the aerodromes.”
During the recent council meeting, council approved a second summary calling on the minister of Affordability and Utilities to “identify the current capacity of the electric grid and future plans developed by the provincial government to increase capacity in preparation for mandated zero emission vehicle (ZEV) sales imposed by the federal government.”
The federal emission targets announced in December 2022 would require at least 20 per cent of new vehicles sold in Canada to be zero emission by 2026, 60 per cent by 2030 and 100 per cent by 2035, council heard.
“Although there has been commentary provided at all levels of government that substantial investment will be required to facilitate Canada’s move towards ZEVs, the county is unaware of any formal plans or strategies to ensure that infrastructure is in place in advance of mandated ZEV sales targets,” the summary states.
A third summary called on the minister of Environment and Protected Areas to consider elimination or expedition of Water Act approval regulations for projects on the rehabilitation of existing infrastructure.
“Mountain View County continues to experience delays and cost escalations when attempting to meet Alberta Environment regulations related to the Water Act,” the summary states.
“A significant amount of the county’s roadway projects that are in close proximity to waterbodies do not pose any increased impact on the waterbody and therefore could be approved expeditiously, allowing for resources to be directed towards new or expanded projects that may require further assessment.”
Council carried a motion approving the summaries and instructing administration to forward them to the appropriate government departments.