May 25th, 2024

Airport getting grant for study on hangar development


By Al Beeber - Lethbridge Herald on April 5, 2024.

Herald file photo - The Lethbridge airport is getting grant funding from the provincial government for a hangar development feasibility study and business case.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDabeeber@lethbridgeherald.com

The Lethbridge airport is one of 10 in the province getting grant funding from the provincial government.

Minister of Transportation and Economic Corridors Devin Dreeshen announced in Red Deer on Thursday that the province will be providing a total of $1.13 million in grants to the airports. Among grant recipients will be Medicine Hat’s Regional Airport, as well.

The Lethbridge airport will get $150,000 for a hangar development feasibility study and business case.

Medicine Hat Regional Airport will also receive $150,000 for a feasibility and business case for airport growth and development.

“Alberta’s government recognizes the critical role our aviation industry plays in strengthening and diversifying our economy by expanding access to markets and creating jobs all across the province,” said Dreeshen.

“Development of Alberta’s airports, with special attention to regional airports, can help Albertans connect to major international airports and increase Alberta’s economic competitiveness,” said Dreeshen, noting that is part of the mandate given to him by premier Danielle Smith.

The grants will go to new business cases and feasibility studies to support improved airport infrastructure and planning, he said.

Airports getting the money include ones at Red Deer, Cold Lake, Whitecourt, Lloydminster, Peace River Regional Airport, High Level, Grande Prairie and Fort McMurray.

“The projects will also allow the airports to identify, explore and prioritize improvements and opportunities to increase their economic competitiveness,” added Dreeshen.

“The funded projects obviously vary in scope and size depending upon the unique needs of the airports such as airport certification to support scheduled air services, obtaining customs approval, airport commercial development, commercial air services, hangar development and development of strategic business cases to restore their position as a regional transportation hub.”

Projects will also support business cases to support new airlines, analyzing highest need routes, determining baseline capacity of airport infrastructure as well as identifying capital asset rehabilitation and replacement requirements, he said.

Jason Elliot, Director of Corporate Services for the City of Lethbridge, said Thursday afternoon the City is “pretty excited” and grateful to the province for the grant.

He said the money is a continuation of the support provided to the airport which has gotten investment of $26 million in recent years.

“We’ve heard from our area partners in the aviation industry that this is something that’s important to them so we’re optimistic that with this work we’ll be able to dig in and really find out what the needs of the region are,” Elliot added.

“With the hangar development study there’s all kind of possibilities in terms of businesses this could attract and support, everything from specific aviation air-side businesses supporting the aviation industry, so whether it be fuel services, storage space, those sorts of things to more the commercial side which could include warehouse space, distribution space and private and commercial storage, as well.

“We don’t want to presuppose that the outcome the study could show,” he added.

Work on the study will begin immediately and the province wants to see the final report sometime in September.

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