A key piece of the Prince George Airport runway extension is under construction.
The installation of their new Instrument Landing System was a major part of the step-by-step plan to upgrade YXS into an international airport capable of handling virtually any commercial passenger or cargo aircraft.
"The ILS is a ground-based instrument approach system, which provides precision guidance to an aircraft approaching a runway, using a combination of radio signals and high-intensity lighting arrays to enable a safe landing during (challenging meteorological) conditions such as low ceilings or reduced visibility due to fog, rain, or blowing snow," said Stieg Hoeg, general manager of the airport. "This is a critical step in the runway construction project that will lead to an increase in international air traffic."
Airport officials worked closely with NAV Canada, the national airport regulator, as well as partner airlines and other stakeholders to bring about this upgrade. Funding was provided by the provincial government, the federal government and the Northern Development Initiative Trust.
The work is expected to be finished sometime in the next 30 days. It is part of a suite of improvements that also includes extending one runway to 11,400 feet, centre line lighting on the runway, and a dedicated de-icing pad for wide body aircraft.
"(The upgrades) will allow the Prince George Airport Authority to market the airport as a transpacific techstop alternative to international air carriers," Hoeg said. "This will also enable carriers to consider Prince George for international passenger services. The runway will be open in fall of 2008."