Grants for airport operations and maintenance are available to municipal airport commissions responsible for the operation of airports in Manitoba, which do not receive scheduled services. These airport operations grants are to assist in the continued maintenance and operation of certified or registered airports open to the public and listed in the Canada Flight Supplement. The amount of such grants will be $1,200 for airports with unpaved runways and $2,400 for airports with paved runways.
Application for these benefits must be made to the Department of Infrastructure and Transportation, Northern Airports & Marine Operations Branch, 310-215 Garry Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3C 3P3. It should be noted that funding under this program is dependent on all conditions being met and maintained, as well as departmental funding being available.
Grants for Airport Operations and Maintenance
Airport commissions which operate airports certified or registered by Transport Canada at a level of maintenance commensurate with Transport Canada requirements, are open to the public and are listed in the Canada Flight Supplement, may apply to the Department of Infrastructure and Transportation for an annual grant of $1,200 (unpaved runway)/ $2,400 (paved runway), to assist in the continued maintenance and operation of the airport. It will only be available to municipal airport commissions operating airports which meet the criteria described under the section entitled "approved programs". This grant is to be considered as airport general revenue for use in covering the cost of operation, liability insurance, maintenance and improvement to the airport consistent with the Transport Canada requirements. Applications must be made annually and must be received by the Department of Infrastructure and Transportation prior to February 15th of the following year.
It is the intention of the Department of Infrastructure and Transportation to promote the safe development and expansion of civil aviation within the Province of Manitoba. The minimum standard which will be approved will require:
Regional Municipal Airport Commissions
Municipal Airport Commissions, established by one or more municipal governments under the powers granted to them in Section 250(2)(d)(general power) of the Municipal Act for the purpose of owning or operating an airport either directly or indirectly through arrangement with local flying clubs, locally based commercial aircraft operators or others, may make application to the Department of Infrastructure and Transportation for grants available under this program. The airport commission will be responsible for ensuring that the grants are used for improvement and maintenance of an airport with at least one runway certified or registered by Transport Canada which meets the minimum standards of this program.
Preference will be given to airport commissions established jointly by the municipal government of towns, villages and rural municipalities located within a radius of 20 miles of the proposed or existing airport site.
Preference will be given to regional airport commissions proposing to locate an airport close to a town or village with a population of 500 or more.
Preference will be given to applications by airport commissions operating airports on land owned by the airport commission or by one or all of the constituent municipal members and which has ensured, by by-law, that the airport will be protected to ensure its continued operation at a certifiable standard for a minimum of 20 years.
An airport commission will be responsible for, but need not operate the airport itself. It may make such arrangements as it deems necessary and which it is empowered to make under the by-laws by which it is established.
For the purpose of the Manitoba Airport Assistance Program, southern Manitoba shall be defined as that area in the Province lying south of a line drawn from the Manitoba-Ontario border at 51° North latitude west to the east shoreline of Lake Winnipeg; then north along the east shoreline of lake Winnipeg to 52° North latitude; then west to lake Winnipegosis; then north along the east shoreline of Lake Winnipegosis to 53° North Latitude; then west to the Manitoba-Saskatchewan border.
The Manitoba Airport Assistance Program has been designed to encourage maximum local participation. Several airports have been developed in Manitoba at very low cost. These airports have usually been developed through close cooperation of the municipal governments and those interested in flying. Municipalities have made land available, often unused road allowances, and have assisted further by using municipal equipment for grading, levelling and seeding. Flying clubs have donated labour, material and equipment and have operated the airport in lieu of paying rent to the municipality. The result has been a usable airport at a very low cost, but one which may not meet all Transport Canada's standards for safe flying operations.
In formulating the Manitoba Airport Assistance Program, a number of airstrips in Manitoba were visited and discussions held with flying club personnel and municipal officials regarding the construction, maintenance and operation of their airports.
In almost every instance, it proved to be impossible to obtain an accurate estimate of the cost of construction, maintenance or annual operations of airstrips in Manitoba. The reason for this was common to all airstrips visited and was not due to improper accounting. Most of the work was done with volunteered material, equipment and labour. As a result, the communities were unable to estimate the true cost of the airstrips. The best that could be done was to provide a listing of direct out-of-pocket costs such as moving hydro poles, etc.
Almost all airstrips built in Manitoba involve close cooperation between the local municipal governments and flying club members. Everyone agreed that success depended on this close cooperation and understanding. It was also agreed that the flying club members could operate and maintain the airstrip better and at a lower cost than the municipality, provided some help was forthcoming from the municipal governments.
Low cost community airports have been built in a variety of ways. One expediency involves the closure, grading, levelling and seeding of unused road allowances to provide runway surfaces. This results in the construction of east-west and/or north-south runways, neither into the prevailing wind. Because of high land costs and limited flying club resources only an acre or two of land immediately adjacent to the runways was purchased or leased. The result was an airport meeting all Transport Canada zoning requirements for certification or registration except that hangars were often located too close to the runway.
A variety of suggestions were made respecting points to be included in a new or modified program. These were that:
As a result of these discussions the following program was drawn up. It was designed to meet some of the requirements of small Manitoba communities.
Each community has its own organization, methods and problems. The program was designed to provide the flexibility required to meet local conditions and yet retain a large measure of control over expenditures. This is done by making:
It is not enough to construct an airport; an airport must be maintained to be useful. An annual grant to assist in the continued operation and maintenance of airports in Manitoba is available through the Department of Infrastructure and Transportation. The sum of $1,200/$2,400 is quite a large amount of revenue for the class of airport being considered. Therefore, it provides a strong incentive to keep the airport up to standards. However, it is only available to those airport commissions which operate a certified or registered airport open to the public and listed in the Canada Flight Supplement issued by Transport Canada. Further, the grant is only available to those airports which, after periodic announced inspections, are found to be operated at a level of maintenance commensurate with Transport Canada requirements. It is anticipated that the annual grant be treated as general revenue for the airport commission. In this way, those airports which do most of the work by volunteered equipment, material and labour could use the grant to make improvements to the airport.
Applications for assistance under the Manitoba Airport Assistance Program will be handled in the following manner:
Further information may be obtained by telephone (204-945-3423), by fax (204-948-3251) or by writing to:
Department of Infrastructure and Transportation
Northern Airports & Marine Operations
310-215 Garry Street
Winnipeg, MB, R3C 3P3