Block Bros. constructed the 108 Airport over the summer of 1969 with the official opening on Labour Day weekend. Those ceremonies included B.C. Attorney General Les Peterson, who not only performed the ribbon cutting, he also purchased a lot on the 108.
If you were watching TV in Vancouver or Calgary in Spring 1970 you might have been tempted by a real estate commercial offering not only a little “paradise on Earth” but also a free flight to and from the Cariboo to see for yourself. If you were curious and adventuresome, as many were in 1970 and 1971, you might have boarded a plane in Vancouver early in the morning, along with 45 others and landed at the 108 private airport around mid morning. On arrival you would be paired with a UBC student spending his summer at the “108” escorting visitors around the ranch. Your tour would include the beauty of the many lakes, some history at Watson Manor, beautiful view properties and lunch at the new 108 Club House overlooking the golf course. Perhaps you were tempted and purchased a 108 lot for around $2,000-$3,000 before you were flown back to Vancouver in late afternoon.
As a result of increased population, a commercial air service was inaugurated in 1975. A Northern Thunderbird DC3 made stops in Prince George, Quesnel, Williams Lake, and Kamloops on route to Vancouver. The flight cost from the 108 to Vancouver was $41 one way. The maiden flight landed at the 108 on February 25 and was greeted by a wildly enthusiastic crowd, TV cameras and the 100 Mile House Community Band who played O’Canada to the bewildered passengers as they departed the plane. Unfortunately, the service did not have enough support to be viable for the long run.
The Cariboo Regional District assumed ownership of the South Cariboo (108) Regional Airport in 1981 following negotiations with Block Brothers. Since that time the operations of the airport are overseen by a local Airport Commission comprised of a combination of elected and non-elected members representing the Electoral Areas G, H, and L, and the District of 100 Mile House. The commission is responsible for monitoring the fiscal status of the function as well as overseeing the operations of the airport.
The airport is open year round and has an asphalt runway 5,293 feet long and 75 feet in width. It is equipped with navigation technology, including Limited Weather Information System and Global Navigation Satellite System, a self service fuel system, and a lighting system to allow traffic at night. Accommodation, dining facilities and a golf course are within walking distance.
At the October 29, 2022 RCA Annual General Meeting, airport manager Ross Donahue reported that it’s been quiet at the airport, likely because of the cold spring and fuel prices. There were 1,000 take-offs and landings, 300 helicopters and 36 medivacs coming through the airport, as of Aug. 30. As it wasn’t too busy, it allowed them to do line-painting on the runway although he said a runway overlay is still needed. A new snowblower was donated to the airport by the Prince George Airport Authority and a new camera system is expected by mid-month.
December 2020: The airport has a new manager! After 12 years at the helm, Nick Christianson has retired. Incoming new manager for the South Cariboo Regional Airport Ross Donahue poses with his friend and outgoing manger Nick Christianson. (Patrick Davies photo – 100 Mile Free Press)
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