On July 26, 2018 at 12 noon, at an event on the apron at Abbotsford Airport, the Honourable Claire Trevena Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, announced this year’s grant recipients for the B.C. Air Access Program. Twenty three airports across the province are to receive funding. Abbotsford will receive over half a million dollars in support of projects at Chinook Helicopters, Andre’s Welding and the Abbotsford Flying Club hangar operation.
The full list of airports receiving fund is included in the BC Government press release at this website below:
The Abbotsford Flying Club has operated hangars at CYXX since 1991. In 2012 the size of the operation was tripled by taking over two additional buildings from direct airport operation. Since then the AFC has rented hangar space to over 60 tenants and tie down space for ten aircraft. There is always more demand for space than we have places available.
The current lease started in March 2015 and will run for thirty years. Our operation is expected to continue to offer general aviation aircraft space at CYXX until at least 2045.
To ensure this long-term viability, our strategy has been to invest up front into improving the facilities as soon as possible for all tenants and users. We have already put back over $200k into replacing hangar roofs, gutters and downpipes, repairing doors, and other general maintenance.
The next major project will be to re-grade our entire taxiway system, add new improved drainage, and repave completely. This is the project that will be enabled by the BC Air Access Program, and we gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Provincial Government.
The Air Access Program is an investment in the aviation infrastructure of British Columbia. This project will provide a direct benefit to our hangar tenants, and will benefit general aviation by helping to assure the continuing strong presence of general aviation at CYXX. A healthy general aviation sector is an essential basis for the growth of commercial aviation and aerospace activity in Abbotsford and in BC.
This initiative is directly in line with the constitutional aims of the AFC, which include the promotion of aviation in general, the provision of aviation facilities, and to operate aircraft. Very soon after its own formation in 1961, the AFC created the Abbotsford International Airshow, which is a showcase for aerospace and aviation in Canada; and the AFC continues as an integral part of the airshow. More recently, in 2009 to celebrate the centenary of flight in Canada, we created the First Flights for Kids, which continues to grow and has now flown over 1,100 kids in their first flight in a small aircraft. Some have gone on through Air Cadets and pilot training and are now commercial pilots, and some have joined the club.
The taxiway project is planned for later this year. It will strip away all existing taxiways and paving on our hangar lease area, re-grade the area entirely, install a number of new surface water drains, and then pave new taxiways, hangar access, and tie-down places.