Full-time firefighting coming to Sydney airport
‘ This equipment will ensure the continued safe operation of the airport’
Just moments after Wednesday’s announcement that WestJet’s Encore service will be flying daily into Sydney, federal Transport Minister Lisa Raitt continued the good news feeling at J.A. Douglas McCurdy Sydney Airport by announcing money to purchase firefighting equipment for the airport.
“I have actually excellent news for the airport. It’s an important airport here in Nova Scotia, and what I am here to tell you is this: the government of Canada, the government of Stephen Harper, will provide the Sydney airport with funding of more than $1.8 million to support safe and efficient operations at the airport,” Raitt said.
The federal government, through Transport Canada’s Airports Capital Assistance Program, is spending $1,846,152 to purchase two aircraft rescue and firefighting vehicles and associated equipment. These vehicles will provide enhanced emergency response capability and establish full-time fire services at the airport.
“The J.A. Douglas McCurdy Sydney Airport is an important hub for residents, businesses, and tourism in this region,” said Raitt. “This equipment will ensure the continued safe operation of the airport, while contributing to the economic and social well-being of the local community.”
Airport chair Doug Peach said he was pleased with the funding.
“Today we welcome your most recent contribution of $1.846 million for the establishment of full-time fire services on-site,” said Peach. “The government of Canada has con- tributed a total of $14.1 million since 1998 to improve infrastructure and safety at the airport.
“Transport Canada’s continued commitment to our future and safety here at McCurdy Sydney Airport is gratefully acknowledged.”
While improving the airport is important to those using its services, the airport chair the improvements have also led to another welcomed factor — jobs.
“All of our improvements have been completed by local contractors providing muchneeded local employment,” said Peach. “We’re ever-vigilant of opportunities to enhance service and safety and playing our role in opening up this beautiful island to the world.”
Peach said the improvements are needed to accommodate the growing numbers of passenger traffic.
“Passenger traffic has grown from 91,000 passengers in 2005 to almost 200,000 in 2014,” said Peach.
Since the program started, the federal government has invested more than $688 million for 828 projects at 174 airports across the country.
Doug Peach, chairman of J.A. Douglas McCurdy Sydney Airport, reacts to announcements at the airport on Wednesday.