Transportation infrastructure in the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako is meeting the needs of growing industrial, residential, and visitor traffic.  Highway 16 is the major transportation route for truck and vehicle traffic in the region.  The rail system is well established and delivers products from around Canada destined to Asia markets, via the Port of Prince Rupert. The Port is the shortest route for containers heading to Asian markets.

There are five community airports and one regional airport within the region.  The community airports provide varying degrees of service from year-round to snow free only access. The airports provide vital transportation links for the region’s resource industries. The Smithers Regional Airport offers passenger flights to Vancouver, Terrace, Prince George, Kamloops, and Kelowna.  Helicopter bases are located throughout the region.

Air Services

Airports are an integral part of the region's economy. Air services support the region's economic drivers, forestry, mining, tourism, and agriculture. Charter, passenger, and cargo services are available. Most of the communities have helicopter services either through the airport or from private helicopter bases.
Prince George Airport is the closest international airport to the RDBN. The distance to the Prince George Airport from the municipalities in the Regional District ranges from 100 to 371 km.

Runway Length
Smithers Regional Airport Town of Smithers 7,544 ft. (2,299 m)
Vanderhoof Airport District of Vanderhoof 5,019 ft. (1,529 m)
Baker Airport – Burns Lake Lakes District Airport Society 5,000 ft. (1,524 m)
Fort St. James Airport District of Fort St. James 4,000 ft. (1,219 m)
Fraser Lake Airport Village of Fraser Lake 3,900 ft. (1,189 m)
Houston Municipal Airport District of Houston 3,900 ft. (1,189 m)


Smithers Airport

The Smithers Regional airport is located 5 kms north of the Town of Smithers. Three commercial passenger airlines operate at the Smithers Airport

  • Air Canada—Daily service to Vancouver.
  • Central Mountain Air—Service to and from Terrace, Prince George, Kamloops, and Kelowna.
  • Hawk Air—Service to and from Terrace and Vancouver.


Vanderhoof Airport

The Vanderhoof Airport is located 2 kms north of Vanderhoof. The Vanderhoof Airport has three runways and offers charter air service and a flying school. To read about recent upgrades done at the Vanderhoof Airport click here

Baker Airport

The Baker Airport is located 20 kms northwest of the Village of Burns Lake. There are no scheduled services to or from the Burns Lake airport but charter flights are available. Baker airport is a year-round facility, with a lit runway. Overnight accomodations and a van are available onsite. Read about upgrades to the airport here.

Fort St James Airport

The Fort St James airport is located 4 kms south of Fort St James. There is no scheduled service to or from the Fort St James airport. Yellowhead Helicopters Inc. operates from the airport and offering services to mining and forest industry clients.

Fraser Lake Airport

The Fraser Lake airport is located 7 kms southeast of the Village of Fraser Lake. The Fraser Lake Airport currently does not offer scheduled flights. Use of the paved runway is available during the snow free months.

Houston Municipal Airport

The Houston Municipal Airport is located 13 kms west of Houston and offers aircraft parking space and private hangars. The runway is open during snow free months.

Click here to view air service businesses within the region.


Water Services

The Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako is fortunate to be located near three major shipping ports. The distance from the municipalities in the Regional District to Prince Rupert ranges from 353 to 624 km. Because of this close proximity to these ports a world of opportunities are available to investors and existing industry.
Prince Rupert Port Authority operates the Port in the Prince Rupert Harbour. They are an autonomous and commercially viable agency, governed by a local Board of Directors with full control over all Port decisions, with a mandate to facilitate and expand the movement of cargo and passengers through the Port of Prince Rupert.

Prince Rupert Container Terminal: The 24 hectare (59 acre) facility is the first dedicated intermodal (ship to rail) container terminal in North America with the design capacity to move 500,000 Twenty Foot Equivalent Units (TEU) per year. The 22 meter (72 feet) wharf extension provides a berth depth of 18.7 meters (61.4 feet), enabling the terminal to easily accommodate container ships in excess of 12,500 TEUs. Upon completion of Phase 2 in 2012, the container terminal will have a two million TEU capacity, making it the second largest handling facility on the West Coast.

The Port of Stewart is the most northernly ice-free port located in one of the most mineral rich regions in North America. The Port provides full service to large freighters that carry loads throughout the Pacific Rim. Stewart Bulk Terminals has developed a reputation for quality and efficient workmanship, and their goal is to continue to develop that reputation into a major presence in the shipping industry of the Pacific Northwest.

The Port of Kitimat is the third largest Canadian Asia Pacific Gateway port on the West Coast of Canada..The Private Port of Kitimat is the deepest and closest inland port on Canada's Northwest Transportation and Trade Corridor and offers both inbound and outbound transportation cost savings to shippers.

Road Services

Provincial Road System

Highway 16 is the main paved transportation route running east to west through the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako. Highway 16 is the transportation route for goods being shipped into and out of the region.

Provincial highways connect communities to the Highway 16 corridor:

Highway 27 to Fort St. James from Highway 16 (Vanderhoof)

Highway 35 to Francois Lake/Southbank from Highway 16 (Burns Lake)

Highway 118 to Granisle from Highway 16 (Topley)


The provincial road system within the region is maintained year-round by three road and bridge maintenance contractors.


Off-Road System

The Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operation is the sole agency responsible for the off-road network of Forest Service Roads.

Road Status Information Links

Drive BC
Northern BC Highway Cams
Bulkley-Nechako Directory

Rail Services

Commodity Rail Line

The Canadian National Railway follows the Highway 16 corridor from Prince George to Prince Rupert. There are siding access points throughout the region, which service the forest industry. Currently CN Rail is upgrading the rail line to accommodate the increase in traffic due to goods being shipped to Asia. Prince George is the regional trading centre for Northern BC, where CN Rails Intermodal Terminal is located. The Intermodal terminal is designed to support customers shipping to and from Asia through the Port of Prince Rupert.

CN Rail

Passenger Rail Line

VIA Rail operates 'The Skeena' passenger train, running from Jasper to Prince Rupert and back again, with stops in many of the communities within the RDBN. Passengers are able to disembark and take in the splendor of the communities on route. The journey will take you through some of Canada’s most scenic areas.

VIA Rail