Mount Currie's concerns top priority for airport team 

three to six month timeline to understand potential

click to enlarge PLANS FOR PLANES The next step to airport expansion is to consult with the Mount Currie Indian Band. File photo
  • PLANS FOR PLANES The next step to airport expansion is to consult with the Mount Currie Indian Band. File photo

Engaging with the Mount Currie band is one of the first steps in moving forward with plans to determine the future of the Pemberton Airport.

Pemberton Mayor Jordon Sturdy confirmed that in the first meeting with reps from developers SNC Lavalin and village staff on Tuesday morning, one of the top priorities was First Nations engagement.

"Certainly one of the first things we're intending to do is a meeting with Mount Currie," said Sturdy.

"There is a sensitivity to the concerns that Mount Currie might have with the site and we need to work with them in the same way that we need to work with our own constituents."

Pique attempted to reach band chief Lucinda Phillips for comment before press this week but was not successful.

Sturdy explained that there is a long history of concern with the development of the airport not just as it may impact the quality of life for people on the reserve but also historical concerns as it relates to archeological issues. He said hundreds of holes have been dug at the site to ensure any potential historical artifacts are not disturbed.

The Tuesday morning meeting with SNC Lavalin was designed to get the conversation started around goals for the airport and how those could be achieved.

The mayor expects they will all understand what the end goals are within the next three to six months and how those goals can be achieved.

"Any scheduled flight for the Pemberton Airport is going to require significant investment," said Sturdy, adding that the option that will be examined is for turboprops.

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