The Brandon Municipal Airport is getting some much-needed funding from Transport Canada’s Airports Capital Assistance Program to improve safety at the airfield.
Brandon will be receiving $354,851 to repair and replace wildlife fencing at the airport. That amount is part of $48.6 million which Transport Canada has pledged to use for new safety-related improvement projects.
Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport for Canada, says this is an important expenditure for the Brandon-area, adding it will do more than improve safety at the airport. He was in Winnipeg on Jan. 31 to announce the funding.
“Our Government recognizes that local airports are major contributors to the economic growth and social well-being of smaller communities. In addition to supporting personal travel and tourism, local airports are key connectors for business, health care, social services, and emerging resource development sectors,” he said.
“These investments will improve access to safe, and efficient and accessible air transportation options, and will help us deliver on our promise to build safer, healthier and stronger communities across Canada.”
According to a City of Brandon spokesperson, coyotes are the most common animal spotted on the runway. One plane which was landing in Brandon did strike a coyote and there have been several near-misses throughout the years. Other landings have been aborted in the past to avoid such a collision.
Coyotes are not the only animals which have been spotted, however. Other wildlife on the landing strip that could potentially cause danger to aircraft include deer, rabbits, moose, birds, and even a few horses.
The City of Brandon says they average approximately 22 incidents with wildlife on their runway every year – an average of almost two per month.
The Brandon Municipal Airport fence was constructed in the early 1990’s and, over time, it has been a constant job to keep it upright. The new fence will be eight feet tall. The City of Brandon says they first applied for funding to repair their fence in 2017, and states they are pleased to receive these funds.