March 8, 2005
(Innovation, Trade and Rural Development)


Provincial government will provide assistance to Stephenville Airport

Kathy Dunderdale, Minister of Innovation, Trade and Rural Development, announced today that the provincial government is prepared to provide a $350,000 repayable loan guarantee to assist the Stephenville Airport Corporation.

Following a request by the Stephenville Airport Corporation for financial assistance, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador engaged consultant Ernst and Young to review the financial status of the corporation. The consultant concluded that Stephenville Airport should seek protection under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act to give it time to restructure its operations.

"The Board of Directors of Stephenville Airport Corporation has decided to file for voluntary bankruptcy protection. Government is prepared to assist with the process and will provide a repayable loan of $350,000 to a bank to be secured and repaid by the airport�s accounts receivables. Government is also prepared to cover the costs of the trustee, up to a maximum of $150,000," said Minister Dunderdale.

"I am very pleased government is able to assist the Airport Corporation to remain a viable facility so that it can continue to contribute to a healthy and vibrant economy for the Stephenville-Bay St. George area," said Joan Burke, MHA for St. George�s-Stephenville East.

"Stephenville airport is a significant piece of infrastructure for the area. I am pleased the airport corporation has shown leadership in getting the airport back on the right track," said Jim Hodder, MHA for Port au Port.

Minister Dunderdale said that, while government does not intend to provide core operational support to any airport in the province, government wants Stephenville Airport to achieve long-term stability.

"The provincial government wants to give Stephenville Airport every possible opportunity to succeed and we are prepared to assist Stephenville Airport with this process, the same as we would with any other airport that voluntarily takes this step," said Minister Dunderdale.

Media contact: Lynn Evans, Communications, (709) 729-4570, 690-6290

2005 03 08              11:30 a.m.

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