Nova Scotia

Yarmouth International Airport to be studied for revamped passenger service

The provincial government is considering new options to get more people to the Yarmouth area, at the same time as it contemplates the future of the region's ferry service.

Air Canada ceased service to the airport in 2003

Regular passenger flights used the airport steadily between 1965 and 2003. Smaller charter services have operated at the facility since then. (YarmouthAirport.ca)

The provincial government is considering new options to get more people to the Yarmouth area, at the same time as it contemplates the future of the region's ferry service.

On Wednesday, a request for proposals was published by the Western Regional Enterprise Network, seeking "Market Assessment and Route Development for Yarmouth International Airport."

Provincially-run enterprise networks connect local businesses in Nova Scotia with government to develop economic inititatives.

The Yarmouth International Airport is located close to Yarmouth and offers two runways and two taxiways. 

Regular passenger flights used the airport steadily between 1965 and 2003. Smaller charter services have operated at the facility since then, most recently Twin Cities Air Service, which shuttled passengers between Yarmouth and Portland, Maine, up until December 2012. 

The deadline to submit proposals to study the airport is Oct. 15, barely one week after the RFP's publication.

"Project work is expected to commence by Oct. 21. Time being critical to this project, a realistic, but aggressive timeline is to be outlined in the proposal," reads the RFP.

Also slated for mid-October, the provincial government is expected to announce details about the future of Nova Scotia ferry link to the United States.

Geoff MacLellan, Nova Scotia's Minister of Transportation, has repeatedly said there will be a ferry between Yarmouth and Portland, Maine, but it's not yet known which company will be chosen for the 2016 sailing season.

Four companies have submitted bids, including the current operator, Nova Star Cruises.

A decision about the future of the service isn't expected until the season concludes later this month. 

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