20-year plan ready for takeoff

Alpha Aviation looking to attract new tenants, bring in more investment to Delta-owned Boundary Bay Airport

A new 20-year master development plan is about to get underway at the Boundary Bay Airport.

Alpha Aviation, which leases and operates the municipally-owned airport, from the Corporation of Delta, is looking to attract new tenants and bring in more investment.

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"The positive impact of this growth, on businesses not only located at the Airport, but throughout Delta and beyond, in the manufacturing, construction, transportation, retail and services sectors, can be tremendous," said Alpha Aviation Inc. General Manager Greg Fong in a new release.

According to Alpha Aviation, Boundary Bay is one of the top aviation training centres in Canada. It serves as a reliever to Vancouver International Airport (YVR). With recent capital investments and expansion Boundary Bay Airport now has the capacity to accommodate corporate business aircraft, smaller regional air carriers and serve as a major aviation industry centre.

Delta Chamber of Commerce president Ian Tait recently said there will be new development opportunity and its spin-off benefits.

"This plan promises to result in a major economic development opportunity for Delta and area," Tait said in the chamber news release. "It will attract developers and ultimately businesses to the Boundary Bay Airport area, some related to aviation sector and others looking for an excellent location in the heart of the Lower Mainland accessible to all modes of transportation."

Delta council recently agreed to award a $250,000 contract for a consultant to design new drainage water and sewer services at the airport. The goal is to plan new servicing infrastructure that is expected to encourage industrial growth for the area. Engineering director Steven Lan told council the current servicing at the airport lands is outdated with much of the infrastructure located in the wrong places and not meeting standards. In June, council approved a zoning amendment to extend the light industrial and business park use area at the airport in order to allow an auto parts warehouse and distribution operation to open. Two years earlier, council agreed with a request by Alpha Aviation, which leases and operates the municipal airport, to lease lands which don't have direct access to the airport apron or runways to a wider range of users, including warehousing, wholesaling and distribution, as well as business park office uses. Earlier this year Delta extended its lease to Alpha to 2099.

Noting the rezoning won't occur on lands at the airport that have direct access and are designated as airside, needed for airport related purposes, Coun. Robert Campbell, who chairs the Boundary Bay Airport Advisory Committee, told the Optimist Alpha Aviation is "bleeding money" despite making a considerable investment to upgrade the airport.

"I think what they're doing is constantly revaluating their position and trying to get to a place where they can generate more revenues out of the airport," he said.

"There's certainly quite a bit of developable airside land that needs to be kept for directly related to airside uses or airport uses, such as hangars."

sgyarmati@delta-optimist.com

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