VICTORIA -- Two airports on Vancouver Island are receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars in funding for upgrades at their facilities.

Nearly $600,000 in provincial funding is going to the Courtenay Airpark and Long Beach Airport in Tofino.

The funding is part of $9.28 million that was announced by the province to help support regional airports through the COVID-19 pandemic.

The grants can be used for a range of projects. In Courtenay, the funding is being used to improve safety at the airpark, which is often visited by pedestrians.

"The Courtenay Airpark is a favourite for people out enjoying a walk and wanting to see small aircraft up close," said Ronna-Rae Leonard, MLA for Courtenay-Comox in a statement Thursday.

"These repairs will help make sure everyone in the air and on the ground is able to enjoy the experience safely."

In total, Courtenay will be receiving $159,446 while Long Beach Airport will be receiving $431,025.

"Our regional airports keep us interconnected, and supporting these facilities helps our communities to thrive, especially at a time when we are all facing so many challenges," said John Jack, chair of the Alberni‐Clayoquot Regional District Board of Directors.

"We are glad to share in this collaborative approach to make sure we have the resources we all need for safe travel," he said.

Last week, the province announced it would be earmarking $27 million to support regional airports and bus operators across B.C.

The announcement was welcome news for John Wilson, president of the Vancouver Island-based Wilson's Transportation, who had previously voiced concern for the industry as travel plummeted during the pandemic.