The District of Elkford Mayor, Dean McKerracher cut the ribbon on the new helipad in the community. The new pad, funded by community donations is replacing an older facility which was deemed unsafe and too small. Photo courtesy of the District of Elkford

Helipad ready for lift off

Elkford unveils new helipad near firehall

The new helipad in Elkford is all set and ready to go.

After Navigation Canada (NAV Canada) found the last helipad to be unsafe, they called for the pad to be completely replaced at a new location.

The old helipad, located behind Elkford’s medical clinic was far too small, they said, and there was a lot of wires in the area which made flight around it dangerous.

The District of Elkford suggested that a new pad be built by the Elkford Fire Hall, and NAV Canada approved. They said the new location provided ample space for a glide path, as well as safe landing.

The $273,371.00 project was made possible by donations from Teck, Columbia Basin Trust and Bearspaw Community First Foundation.

“Anybody can fly in and land on it,” said McKerracher, explaining that the pad is owned by the District of Elkford and is open to public use by mining companies, the logging industry, political officials and more.

“We’ve always had wonderful volunteers in our community,” said the mayor.

Bearspaw, led by two men from Elkford, hosted a golf tournament to raise money for the helipad.

“They turned over $95,000 to us,” said McKerracher.

The District of Sparwood has also had their helipad shut down by NAV Canada.

Fernie has a fully-functioning helipad next to the hospital.

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