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Council re-signs lease agreement on airport

CEO of Prime Air says water and customs to come next

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After a lengthy and exasperating round of legal arguments over the fine print, Prime Air’s Albert Bruno confirmed that his organization has renewed its airport lease agreement with the Village of Pemberton.

There had been some confusion about what Prime Air and the Pemberton council were doing with regards to the airport and when they were likely to find a resolution regarding air services. This confusion was mostly due to the fact that Prime Air has failed, on several occasions, to start a regular air service.

Bruno, the CEO of Prime Air, had also indicated in the past that council was preventing development at the airport by drawing out the process.

But after signing this latest lease agreement Bruno confirmed the ball was "now in Prime Air’s court."

"One minor change was that we were granted an exit easement so that we can have buses come in and a flow of traffic coming in and out," said Bruno.

"So at this point in time we’re moving ahead and right now I’m working on having the water lines put in there, and that’s coming first so we can have tenants in the building. Then customs and immigration can come in… and basically those are the two major sticking points for when air traffic flow can start."

While this announcement is a positive one for Prime Air it is simply a lease agreement and does not prevent any of the other airport proponents, such as Intrawest, from striking a separate deal for air services with the Pemberton council.

Bruno said the next step for Prime Air was to submit a final plan for some building amendments to the terminal building it owns.

"I’m in process of preparing the specs to be submitted to the Village of Pemberton building department for approval and once that’s done then we sign leases with tenants."

The "tenants" in this case would be Galvin Flying, which would conduct the ground operations, Lawrence Black, who is going to organize the catering, Coastal Mountain Airways and a yet-to-be-announced rental car agency, as well as customs and immigration.

The Pemberton airport is only certified by Transport Canada to accept chartered aircraft at the moment.

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