City encourages new businesses on airport lands

Cranbrook is taking steps to encourage development at Canadian Rockies International Airport.

Cranbrook is taking steps to encourage development at Canadian Rockies International Airport.

The city is seeking public input on development permit guidelines for the airport’s industrial and commercial lands, after council gave first reading Monday, February 18 to a bylaw amendment.

“This is the first step in getting our industrial lands developed at the airport which I think is really important for the future and also in getting other airlines to come to Cranbrook,” said Mayor Wayne Stetski.

A commercial development report prepared by SNC Lavalin in 2010 on behalf of the city suggests possible businesses that could be located at the airport as tourism, freight and logistics, aircraft repair and manufacturing, professional development and training, research facilities and testing laboratories for aviation related uses, high-tech environmental, natural resource and medical sectors.

“What began as looking at the master plan for the airport ended up with some recommendations around the zoning,” said Tristen Chernove, managing director of Canadian Rockies International Airport.

“This permitting follows those four phases of development but with a sharp focus on what the market interest might be right now and how we’d like to control what happens out there, fitting with the sustainable image we are trying to portray as the entry point for visiting communities that might be channelling through the airport.

“This was done with a lot of consideration, looking at not only how to be sustainable and put that image forward but not to restrict business opportunities at the same time. There is quite a bit of flexibility worked in with that in mind.”

The city is seeking input on the development guidelines from the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, the St. Mary’s Band, the Ktunaxa Nation, and the Regional District of East Kootenay.