New firetrucks arriving at Northwest Regional Airport yST

New firetrucks have been purchased and are due to arrive at the Terrace-Kitimat Airport

Two brand new state-of-the-art fire trucks are expected to be in service at the Northwest Regional Airport here by next month.

And they’ll be housed in a two-bay shelter attached to the airport’s existing maintenance and services building, construction of which is expected to be finished by the end of August.

Their anticipated arrival caps a series of events placed in motion when an increase in passenger and flight frequency triggered a federal requirement to provide a firefighting and rescue service, says airport manager

Carman Hendry.

The first firetruck was made necessary when the number of passengers surpassed the 180,000 mark and the second when the number of flights increased and type of aircraft changed, he said.

That second fire truck requirement took place as Air Canada increased flights and WestJet then began service with its Q400 aircraft.

“When we have more than 800 aircraft movements in a three-month period, that’s when an airport moves to a Category 6 level and two firetrucks,” said Hendry.

Although both airlines have since trimmed their service, chiefly ending direct Terrace-Calgary flights, Hendry said the airport will keep to its original plan of having two fire trucks.

“We’re the only Category 6 airport in the northwest. We want to be ready when flights increase,” he said.

The two new vehicles come from an American manufacturer called Oshkosh and Transport Canada is covering the cost of just over $1.74 million. The airport is adding a few options such as backup cameras at its own expense.

The airport is now waiting for an announcement of financial assistance to build the two-bay shelter.

While the federal government is covering the initial capital cost of the trucks and shelter and, for instance, providing a first delivery of fire-supressing chemical foam, all ongoing expenses are the responsibility of the airport.

To cover that, the airport is charging the airlines a per-passenger fee based on exact operating and ongoing costs.

“We do not want to make money on providing that service,” said Hendry in estimating the cost could be in the $250,000 range each year.

Because the service must be available for every landing and take off, the airport will more than likely be hiring an additional two people, he said.

Nine of the airport’s 12 employees have already received training to operate the fire trucks.

Their equipment is such that one person can sit in the cab and remotely direct a foam-spraying turret device.

The goal is to provide a protective path of foam so that people can exit an aircraft safely while awaiting the arrival of Terrace and Thornill firefighting vehicles, said Hendry.

“This in no way will replace those services that Terrace and Thornhill can supply us,” he added. “They’re very good at their response time and our training with them will continue.”

The airport has been meeting its initial firefighting and rescue service requirement since last fall by renting at a nominal fee a fire truck from the Prince George airport.

“Airports help out each other when needed. There’s good cooperation between us,” said Hendry.

Having a firefighting and rescue capability is also good for marketing and advertising what the airport has to offer as more and more companies are looking for that kind of service when making decisions about where they want to do business, said Hendry.

 

Just Posted

Greyhound cleared to end routes in northern B.C., Vancouver Island

Company says nine routes have dropped 30% in ridership in last five years

Cross country skiers race Moose Marathon at Onion Lake trails

A total of 75 people gathered for the race between Terrace and Kitimat today, Feb. 24.

How the provincial budget will play out in northwestern B.C.

Price of gasoline to rise and expect MSP premiums to disppear

Snow bikers have a lucky escape on Claque Mountain

Their experience highlights the importance of being properly prepared in the backcountry

Access to naloxone kits made easier

They’re now available from pharmacies

Therapy dogs make appearance at B.C. Games

The St. John’s Ambulance therapy dog program launches a pilot project at the 2018 Kamloops B.C. Winter Games

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

BCHL Today: Cowichan Caps play spoiler and Nanaimo wins 10th straight game

BCHL Today is a (near) daily look at what’s going on around the league and the junior A world.

Federal budget to unveil incentive for 5-week second parent leave: official

Goal behind the measure is to give parents more incentive to share child-rearing responsibilities

Notley says Alberta watching B.C. court bid closely, will get no free ride on it

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley ended the three-week ban on B.C. wine, calming the trade war

Trudeau ends troubled India trip in his comfort zone of hockey and youth

The players, 18-25, came to New Delhi from Ladakhi in northern India, as part of outreach program

OLYMPIC ROUNDUP: Kim Boutin named Canada’s flag bearer for closing ceremony

Two more medals for Canada, including the bronze in men’s hockey

Team Canada’s Dave Duncan apologizes after drunken joyride in Pyeongchang

Duncan, his wife Maja and Canadian technical coach William Raine detained by South Korean police

Czechmate: Canada wins men’s Olympic hockey bronze

Vernon’s Andrew Ebbett scores twice as Canada beats Czech Republic 6-4

Most Read