Greater Victoria Harbour Authority could land harbour airport

GVHA to begin exploratory talks with Transport Canada

The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority is entering into exploratory talks with Transport Canada to take control of the Inner Harbour airport.

Transport Canada announced in July it was considering divesting authority of the Victoria Harbour Water Airport, one of only 18 airports and the only water aerodrome in Canada still under direct federal ownership.

On Aug. 16, GVHA’s board of directors gave its management team approval to explore taking over operation of the harbour from the Victoria harbour master.

“We’re going into these discussions cautiously, with our eyes wide open,” said Curtis Grad, GVHA’s president and CEO. “Management of the water airport is a complex task, with significant responsibilities and material operating costs attached to it.”

GVHA’s bylaws and constitution were written anticipating eventual control of the water airport, Grad said.

“It’s not a question of if the water airport will be divested by Transport Canada, but when, so broad-based regional support and strong leadership will be key to ensuring the best deal for Victoria’s harbour,” he said.