Recent History 1999
March 23, 1999
By Mark Nielsen, Daily News Staff
The City of Dawson Creek has turned to a professional management firm to run the Dawson Creek airport. Frontec, which acts as the promotions arm of the Edmonton Airport Authority, will take over management in an effort to keep the failing airport going.
“As far as the operation of the airport, I think we all agree that we could have done a better job, and that’s what we’re here to do today — a better job,” said Mayor Blair Lekstrom after a signing ceremony was held at the airport on Monday afternoon.
Along with day-to-day operations, Frontec will also be responsible for developing and promoting the airport. Frontec president and CEO George Paicu said that could mean anything from establishing a truck stop to draw in traffic from the highway to finding ways to bring in more flights. Frontec’s affiliation with the Edmonton Airport Authority should help in that matter, he said.
Frontec’s Ian Darling will take over as manager on April 12, replacing Shannon Anderson, who will go on to other duties at City hall. Building maintenance will continue to be performed by city staff.
Darling was the manager at the Grande Prairie Airport, where he worked for Transport Canada. Moving into the private sector will give him greater flexibility to promote and develop the airport, he said.
“I know this is new for me, but it’s basically the same kind of business, it’s just now I’ve got more assets to work with,” he said.
In signing the deal [with Frontec], the City is following in the footsteps of Fort St. John, where the airport is managed by the Vancouver Airport Authority. Frontec also manages airports in North Bay, Castlegar, Penticton, Resolute, Moose Jaw, and Portage LaPrairie.
Now that the deal is signed, a survey will be conducted to see what the community wants in the airport. As well, the City will be setting up a commission to oversee the airport.
Lekstrom said the airport is an important asset to the city, helping to draw in not only visitors but businesses who require immediate access to an airport.
“I believe we all recognize the importance of the airport to the community. In doing that we recognize the importance of having professional managers,” he said.