CALGARY – The provincial government announced plans to help Red Deer expand its airport on Tuesday, saying it will help diversify the economy and create long-term economic growth.
Alberta will contribute $2 million per year for three years in infrastructure funding.
“This expansion was identified by the City as an important economic development priority and we are pleased to work with them to provide funding to get it built,” said Municipal Affairs Minister Deron Bilous in a news release. “The airport expansion will create good jobs, attract new business opportunities and help make our province more economically diverse.”
The city of Red Deer and Red Deer County are each contributing $1.75 million to the project, which will be mainly spent on lengthening the airport’s north-south runway. The runway extension will accommodate larger aircraft and allow for expanded passenger and commercial services.
Meanwhile, Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer said the province’s contribution will make it possible for the project to get off the ground in time for the arrival of the 2019 Canada Winter Games, which will be hosted in Red Deer.
“The Games are expected to generate $125 million for the local economy when Red Deer welcomes more than 3,600 participants and 20,000 visitors,” she added. “In working with the province to provide Red Deer with the necessary funding for our airport, the province recognizes that in building Red Deer, they are building Alberta.”
The province said one 737 landing daily will generate $600,000 in annual revenue and $950,000 in direct annual wages.
Airport project details and statistics
- Remaining project costs of $3.5 million will be provided jointly by the municipalities with $1.75 million from the City of Red Deer and $1.75 million from the County of Red Deer.
- Red Deer Airport has marked 179 per cent in compound annual growth from 2011 to 2014.
- Approximately 25,800 passengers used the airport in 2014, up from 1,468 in 2012 and 11,997 in 2013.
- YQF generated more than 51,000 aircraft movements in 2014, supporting 225 jobs and contributing $100 million into the regional economy.
– With files from David Boushy