There's been some significant investment at the Chilliwack Airport in the past year, and more is on the horizon.
Airport officials announced this week that while one major project is now complete, another has broken ground.
Chilliwack Aviation Park and West-gate Hangars Inc. are embarking on the third and final stage of hangar construction at Chilliwack Airport.
The $3-million investment features the development ofhangars and eight large parking spaces to accommodate various aircraft owners seeking maintenance services at the airport.
"We are glad to see this project move forward as it provides the airport with another additional development of high-quality hangar facilities," said Garry Atkins, general manager of Chilliwack Airport, in a news release.
"These private and commercialhangarswill provide a welcome relief from the past shortage of available aircraft storage, in addition to adding significant square footage for commercial maintenance operations."
The facilities are expected to be humming with activity.
"We look forward to serving the increasing demand for commercial, corporate and general aviation tenants in our new facility," said West-gate Hangar administrator Keith Hodsall.
"We already have offers pending on both new hangar space and parking space."
The Westgate development is scheduled for completion by the end of 2017.
Golden Arrow Aviation has overseen construction on a new commercial hangar at the other end of the airport site, as Phase 1 of two planned, with an initial investment of almost $750,000.
The new hangar is poised to produce high-quality aircraft for sale to local and international markets.
Unlike other municipal airports in the Lower Mainland, the Chilliwack airport is a public-private-partnership.
Back in 1997, City of Chilliwack signed a P3 agreement giving operating rights at the airport to Magnum Management Inc. for 50 years. The agreement was structured to relieve taxpayers of the financial risk, and the city from the burden of day-to-day operations.
Chilliwack Economic Partners Corp. president Brian Coombes said CEPCO was encouraged to see the recent investments at Chilliwack Airport, and have been working with Magnum, local businesses and City of Chilliwack, to move it all forward. It dovetails with previous funding grants that supported the growth of the municipal airport.
"We know that this is one of the gems in terms of municipal airports across B.C. and throughout Canada," said Coombes.
"It is exciting to see this new investment. We see it as a positive step forward for the airport, and we look forward to more in the future. It's creating opportunities for further economic activity which support jobs in our community."