The City of Campbell River has decided not to buy aircraft de-icing equipment after all.
The city had set aside $200,000 during the 2018 budget deliberations, intending on purchasing a de-icing unit for the Campbell River Airport to begin use this coming winter, but after Pacific Coastal Airlines decided to buy its own, the city will put that money back into the airport reserve for use on future projects.
In 2016, 31 flights were diverted due to the airport not having proper de-icing equipment, council was told when it approved the purchase. Both Central Mountain Air and Pacific Coastal Airlines have their own type-1 de-icing equipment, but that equipment doesn’t work for snow, council was told.
So the city was going to purchase a level-4 de-icing unit, but after reviewing the responses to the RFP for equipment, the purchasing department found that the $200,000 budget assigned would only get them “20-year-old equipment that would need replacing within the next 10-20 years. As such, neither unit was selected for purchase,” according to a staff report that came before council at a recent public meeting, which also informed council of Pacific Coastal’s intention to buy its own.
“As Pacific Coastal was the catalyst for the purchase of common use de-icing equipment and considering their recent decision to purchase de-icing equipment,” the report reads, “the city does not need to outlay any capital towards this project.”
The only negative to Pacific Coastal purchasing its own equipment, the report says, is that other airlines will only be able to access the equipment “when it has no impact to Pacific Coastal Operations,” but the alternative was for the city to increase the budget for the de-icing equipment to $300,000 for equipment that wouldn’t need to be replaced in 10 years, and that investment would really only be for Central Mountain Air, which can instead coordinate with Pacific Coastal for use of its equipment, should it be required.
The cancellation of the equipment purchase also removes $20,000 per year for 20 years into the fleet replacement policy.