Mayor hopes to see new landing system at airport soon

Daniel MacEachern
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St. John's Mayor Dennis O'Keefe

The mayor of St. John’s Thursday welcomed news of the city airport’s expansion plans, but says the new instrument landing system — still unfunded — is just as important.

“I think it’s absolutely terrific. This is a long-term expansion, it involves nearly $150 million dollars, and it recognizes that the St. John’s International Airport is the gateway to the province,” said Mayor Dennis O’Keefe. “The benefit is a provincial benefit right across Newfoundland and Labrador.”

O’Keefe praised the plans to expand capacity and improve security, as well as adding restaurants and amenities to improve the experience for travellers who have to spend more time in airports due to increased security measures or being fogged in.

“It’s so important that the airport experience be nice and comfortable and be one that people will remember,” he said.

The mayor said the new $25.8-million industry landing system — still hung up without funding approval from provincial and federal government partners — is just as necessary as the terminal and ground improvements, because it would improve the airport’s ability to land planes in foggy weather.

“I’m really, really hoping that pretty soon the other two levels of government will make the announcement that they’re going to partner with the airport authority to put that landing system in place,” he said.

O’Keefe said he didn’t think the $5 increase to the airport improvement fee — bringing it to $20 per departing passenger — to help pay for the improvements would be a sticking point for most people.

“I think people will accept that. More and more people are travelling, and more and more families are travelling,” he said. “People understand the benefit of it and the costs attached to it.”

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Organizations: International Airport

Geographic location: Newfoundland and Labrador

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Recent comments

  • Rob
    February 07, 2011 - 13:49

    That would be "Instrument Landing System" not "Industry".

  • Dave
    February 05, 2011 - 13:56

    I think it's absurd for the Mayor to even think that passengers don't mind paying an extra $5 per ticket to pay for more improvements to the airport. When will the gouging stop? It wasn't that long ago that Toronto implemented a $10 fee to pay for their massively new airport. $10 for that improvement pales in comparison to what will now be a $20 fee per ticket out of St. John's. Where's the comparison in what you get for $20 compared to what Toronto received for $10. Yes, I know the volume is not there in St. John's and all the other arguments. But nonetheless this is just one more example of how Newfoundlanders are getting screwed by all levels of government every time we turn around. I am no longer living in the province and each and every time I hear of added taxes, and the like, it makes it more and more difficult to consider returning. Not because of an additional $5 fee, but because of the way that the province is "progressing". It's no longer the same place it was just 10 years ago. From the outside it looks more like a retirement home for all the expats that left years ago, and for the Americans that are buying up every piece of property they can find. Let them foot the bill. Hopefully someone will be around to turn the lights off when the retirement home closes.

  • Harry Tucker
    February 04, 2011 - 19:13

    The US President's current salary is $400,000 USD + a $50,000 personal expense account. That being said, the Obama TOTAL income for the year 2008 was $2,656,902 ... not too shabby. :-)

  • Piot Feedback
    February 04, 2011 - 16:38

    I work as a taxi driver and talk to alot of pilots. A common complaint/comment from them is that our runway is completely flat which allows for water to build up and makes landing more difficult or dangerous as it causes (forgin the pun) hydroplaning. Most standard airports in North America have non-flat runways. Some are curved where the middle is higher than the sides that allows the water to run off. Some have groves cut in them like a washboard that collect the water in the lower parts while the surface remainer drier. In a climate like ours we need to ensure that water build up does not make landing more diffcult or less safe. In any remake of the airport, perhaps the most important part should be looked at first.

  • Ron
    February 04, 2011 - 09:19

    I don't know where Rick gets his information, but I am sure that the President of the US makes a lot more than 125, 000 a year. The last time I did a research on this, the president was making 400,00 a year plus a lot of perks

  • Rick
    February 04, 2011 - 07:57

    I don't think an additional $15 per person is the way to go, perhaps if O'Keefe gave up his $90K+ per year it would be a much better way to motivate people to pay an additional fee. Given that the President of the US makes 125,000 90,000 is kind of a lot for St. John's

  • Mike
    February 04, 2011 - 07:39

    Of course we don't mind , I mean it's only 5 dollars. Oh wait, it's just another 15 dollars for an extra bag, 20 dollars to book your seat, a few extra dollars to pay for security plus the airport fee for the landing site. When the cost of the fees and surcharges are more than the ticket price there is really something wrong

  • R. Marsh
    February 04, 2011 - 07:24

    Mayor?????? I thought he was the mascot! That bunch reminds me of the guys from THE ISland of MISFIT TOYS, off of Rudolph the red nose reindeer. And for good season! I mean reason!