Non-profit society to manage Pemberton airport 

PVAA to be involved in all aspects of development, maintenance and operation

By Cindy Filipenko

Management of the Pemberton Airport will no longer be the responsibility of the Village of Pemberton staff.

The Pemberton Airport Governance committee’s report, tabled last month, recommended that a registered non-profit society be created to assist in further development of the airport’s management plan. Staff will now be moving forward with establishing The Pemberton Valley Airport Authority (PVAA).

While that will be the legal name of the entity, a change in name could be possible.

“I would like to see the name be Pemberton Valley and Area Airport Authority,” suggested Mayor Jordan Sturdy.

Staff assured the mayor that the final name of the facility could differ, depending on the will of the board.

The governance committee, which consisted of eight members from the various stakeholder groups, including the Village of Pemberton, Electoral Area C, Whistler and the Lil’wat Nation, met three times to establish the terms of reference for airport governance. The document includes the society’s mandate, criteria for board membership, a list of board members’ responsibilities and a process for removing board members who fail to comply with their responsibilities.

The most substantial part of the document, which went through three drafts, is the page outlining the society’s purpose. In all, the report raises 14 different points, pertaining to the PVAA’s purpose. The document essentially grants the society the right to participate in all facets of the airport’s development, maintenance and operation including entering into contracts to further the purposes of the society. However, the only point of contention was the fact Mayor Sturdy felt the society’s purpose statement was not comprehensive enough.

“There are things noticeably lacking in terms of mission statement,” he said. “I didn’t see anything under the purpose of reflecting community values and I think that was an important part of the terms of reference and I would like to see that added.”

Councillor David MacKenzie, who along with Councillor Mark Blundell, sat on the committee, disagreed with the mayor, pointing out that the last article dealt with quality of life issues.

“I think that’s addressed in item N, where it talks about reflecting environmental standards and community accountability,” said MacKenzie.

Councillor Jennie Helmer agreed with the mayor, stating that she felt that the article should be reworded.

The report was accepted with this change incorporated into the text.

Staff will now move to register the society and contact nominating entities to confirm their willingness to participate in developing a board of directors for the PVAA.

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