A peek inside the new Trail Regional Airport Terminal shows a mural highlighting the new Riverfront Centre museum and library. City of Trail photo

YZZ gearing up for landmark month

Public ceremony to launch Trail Regional Airport (YZZ) terminal slated for Nov. 29 at 3 p.m.

November is shaping up to be a landmark month at YZZ.

Otherwise known as the Trail Regional Airport, YZZ’s new terminal is being powered up this week and a ribbon-cutting ceremony is slated for Wednesday, Nov. 29 at 3 p.m.

“This time was chosen as we will have departing and arriving passengers on the afternoon flights going through the new facility,” says the city’s Andrea Jolly. “And, we’d like accommodate the delegates should they need to return on the last flight of the day.”

A representative from the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure will be speaking that day, possibly Minister Claire Trevena (still unconfirmed), as well as the Coun. Kevin Jolly, airport committee chair, and Mayor Mike Martin.

Jolly encourages residents to join the city in commemorating the official opening of the $3 million building by walking through the facility and checking out its amenities.

Light refreshments will be served and there’ll be a chance to win a Pacific Coastal Airlines YZZ-YVR return flight.

Council reviewed year-to-date airport operations during the Tuesday governance meeting, including draft lease agreements for the terminal’s tenants – the airline and Practicar Car and Truck Rental.

The Pacific Coastal Airlines agreement would take effect Nov. 27 with a proposed monthly rental of $2,000 for a three-year term. In exchange, the airline would be provided two check-in counters, an office and a baggage room for exclusive use.

The proposed agreement with Practicar Car and Truck Rental includes a five-year term (2017 to 2022), with a proposed minimum annual rent of $1,200 as well as a $6 concession fee per vehicle daily, to be reconciled monthly.

Airport Manager Robert Baker noted, as an example, if a vehicle was rented for three days, the airport would receive $18 in concession fees. In exchange, the car rental service will be provided a customer service counter and six parking stalls for exclusive use.

“The airline’s rent is deemed fair and reasonable based on comparison to like‐sized airports serving Pacific Coastal Airlines,” Baker reported to council. “Likewise, the proposed rent and fees tentatively agreed to with the airline and car rental service are comparable to each other; 10 per cent of their revenue and their base rent equates to one per cent of their revenue. As such, the car rental minimum rent and concession fees are deemed fair and reasonable in comparison to what is being charged to the airline.”

Chief Administrative Officer David Perehudoff concurred, noting with the proposed lease rates, the city will recover 53 per cent of all costs.

“However, if revenues are looked at in isolation of capital and are considered on the basis of recovery of operating costs, the recovery rate approaches 75 per cent of expenses,” he explained.

“This appears to be very favourable and for a minimal property tax subsidy, the city has taken a failing airport in jeopardy of being closed to a successful enterprise that provides considerable community and regional benefit.”

Baker’s report included an update of passenger counts until the end of October, which show a six per cent increase or 1,036 more passengers boarded this year over last.

Baker equated an increase in seats sold to an additional $13,468 in revenue from passenger fees.

Additionally, recent landing rates continue to near or meet 100 per cent success.

“The average Landing Success Rate to date for Trail is 94 per cent,” he noted. “Compared to 81 per cent for Castlegar. In 2016, overall success rates were 93 per cent and 83 per cent respectively.”

Upcoming YZZ priorities include ensuring runway availability during winter operations, transition to operating out of the new terminal, and completing tasks for an updated Corrective Action Plan resulting from a quality assurance inspection by Transport Canada.

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