More jobs, a stronger economy and greater ties with the Asia Pacific market is what the B.C. government’s new aviation strategy is promising to bring to the province.
The Connecting with the World Aviation Strategy, announced at the Langley Regional Airport on Friday, looks at expanding air services and increasing access to international markets. The aim is to make the province more competitive in the global aviation market and attract Asia Pacific passenger and cargo business.
This has huge implications for Langley Regional Airport, which is centrally located near Vancouver, the United States and the Pacific Rim.
“This is going to mean jobs throughout all sorts of different industries in British Columbia and it has an impact on local communities as we see in Langley,” said Mary Polak, Langley MLA and Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure.
“This is a future looking strategy, but we have learned from what we’ve done in the past that the type of work we can do in local airports has a much broader impact than just our initial investment. Langley is an excellent example of that.”
Coinciding with the announcement of the new aviation strategy, Vector Aerospace, one of the major employers at Langley Regional Airport, announced it is expanding its facilities in Langley from a 66,000 square foot building to a 104,000 square foot building. This will add a further 180 jobs, attract additional major investments and nearly double the technical activity and production of the airport, said Langley Township Mayor Jack Froese.
“We certainly look at this as an early Christmas present for our airport, for our community and the province,” Froese said. “Jobs mean people and we have lots of room for people and families to move in, and it is extremely gratifying to see our economy grow.”
Since 2004, close to $16 million has been injected into the airport from the private sector, the province and the Township, for upgrades including a new taxiway and paving of a second runway. The B.C. aviation strategy and Vector Aerospace expansion will ensure these important investments will continue.
“B.C. has the potential to be a pre-eminent aviation gateway between Asia and the Americas,” Polak said.
“Through the B.C. aviation strategy, we can strengthen and grow our aviation sector, support the BC Jobs Plan, help B.C. move goods to international markets and further open our province to investment.”