The first two HeliJets choppers are back at the Masset airport to transfer fishermen to the outlying fishing lodges. (Archie Stocker Sr.)

Haida Gwaii Masset airport receives $479,877 in funding for improvements

The Masset airport will use the grant funding for the replacement of an underground fuel tank

Haida Gwaii’s Masset airport is receiving $479,877 in funding through the B.C. Air Access Program to improve safety and convenience.

The Masset airport will use the grant funding for the replacement of an underground fuel tank.

“Airports in smaller communities are transportation and economic lifelines for the people they serve,” said Jennifer Rice MLA for the North Coast. “This grant provides welcome funding for improvements that might otherwise be extremely challenging for Masset.”

Haida Gwaii is one of 16 communities that received funding from the program this year, totalling eight million for B.C. airports mostly located in remote areas in the northern communities.

READ MORE: Masset Airport wins environmental award

With more than 300 public airports, heliports and water aerodromes, the province handles 20 per cent of Canada’s airport traffic and nearly a quarter of all takeoffs and landings. This is the fifth year of the Air Access program which has put $40 million in funding to 57 airports across the province.

According to the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, improvements to community airports will range from runway resurfacing and terminal building expansions, to increased medevac services, weather detection systems and fire protection upgrades, to reducing environmental risks and greenhouse gas emissions.

READ MORE: Local farmer proposes hayfield on Masset airport grounds

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