Airline service to Fort Nelson, B.C., to resume with funding from governments

·1 min read

Flights to Fort Nelson, B.C., are set to resume later this month after Central Mountain Air announced earlier it was temporarily cutting the only airline service to the town of 3,500 in the province's northeast corner.

In a media release, Central Mountain Air said it will resume twice-weekly service between Prince George and Fort Nelson on Feb. 18. with more flights added as pandemic travel restrictions ease and demand grows.

The release said the provincial and federal government assisted in the renewal of the flights, but no dollar figure was given.

Fort Nelson Mayor Gary Foster said the city had been lobbying both levels of government, pointing out that the federal government made promises on two occasions to support regional airlines during the pandemic.

"We're just ecstatic this is coming along and that the funding is forthcoming," he said.

Foster said without airline service, it would be impossible for residents to get timely medical care outside the community, or for medical professionals to travel to the town.

"Fort Nelson is fairly remote. We're four hours away from the nearest and largest community, which is Fort St. John ... and about nine hours from Prince George. So you can imagine travelling the road if you need medical care, an operation or cancer treatment."

Central Mountain Air had originally announced a three-month total shutdown of service, between Feb. 3 and May 3.

The revival of the service means the shutdown will now only last two weeks.

Pre-pandemic, Fort Nelson had more frequent scheduled flights in and out of the city.