City moves forward on airport investment

The city will spend nearly $400,000 on a new jet fueling facility at the Campbell River Airport

The city will spend nearly $400,000 on a new jet fueling facility at the Campbell River Airport.

At its Monday meeting, council awarded construction of the project to an Ontario-headquartered company, National Energy Equipment, for $389,648.

That comes in under what the city budgeted ($422,500) for the brand-new above ground fuel storage system that will replace the existing, underground fueling system run by Imperial Oil that is nearing the end of its life span and was unlikely to be replaced.

Mayor Andy Adams praised city staff, as well as those who sit on the Airport Authority board, for getting the project to fruition.

“It’s been a long time coming,” Adams said. “I want to recognize the Airport Authority members, both past and present, that have been very diligent in moving this forward.”

In January, the city issued a tender for the fuel storage system as well as two delivery trucks one new and one used fuel truck.

Clinton Crook, the city’s senior buyer, said the city received three bids by the time the tender closed on Feb 23.

Crook said National Energy Equipment submitted the lowest priced tender and was “found to be compliant, and have met all of the tender requirements.”

He said that based on the company’s current project schedule, the above ground tank system is expected to be installed at the airport in August and commissioned for use in September.

Prior to that, the old underground fuel system will be removed and the site rehabilitated to make way for the new jet fueling facility.

Council had previously allocated $1.187 million to invest in the city’s own fueling facility which includes the storage system and the two fuel trucks.

The project, however, will be 75 per cent funded by a grant from the BC Air Access Program.

Coun. Colleen Evans said during 2017 budget planning meetings in December that the fueling facility will be an economic driver for the City of Campbell River.

“I think this is just another economic development opportunity for our community, having our own jet fuel facility,” Evans said.

“This will be an important opportunity for not only revenue generation but just to highlight the importance of having these amenities for everyone from corporate jets to our main carrier providers.”

The new airport fueling facility will also offer a permanent medevac operational area which will provide direct access to emergency fuel for ambulances, aircraft and dedicated fuel trucks to help support 24/7 operations.