London International Airport receives federal funding boost

London airport president Mike Seabrook shows politicians the runway that will be improved as a result of the federal funding.
London airport president Mike Seabrook shows politicians the runway that will be improved as a result of the federal funding. Jaclyn Carbone/980 CFPL

London International Airport has scored a multi-million dollar investment from the federal government.

The Trudeau government said it will put $3.3 million toward an infrastructure project at the London airport. The Greater London International Airport Authority will match that with a $3.3-million contribution of its own to assist with the update of London International Airport’s “Taxiway Golf.”

The project will see the airport remove and rebuild the taxiway to ensure consistency in the services provided by the airport. Rebuilding the taxiway will reduce potential runway hazards.

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The announcement was made by Mary Ng, minister of small business and export promotion, on behalf of Marc Garneau, the federal transport minister.

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“What I’m looking forward to is helping small businesses be export ready,” Ng said. “It’s critical to our economy that our small businesses are not only successful domestically but they can try to get into those external markets as well.”

Acting London Mayor Harold Usher, Ward 1 Coun. Michael Van Holst and London North Centre Liberal MP Peter Fragiskatos were also on hand for the announcement.

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It’s expected the project will create about 65 jobs during construction.

Now that the money for the project has been announced, engineering plans for the work will begin this fall. Airport president and CEO Mike Seabrook says it plans to put out bids for the project in early 2019 and hopes to start construction in May 2019.

Seabrook says taxiway improvement is key to the overall growth of the airport.

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“In some ways it’s a catalyst,” he said. “In order to grow the airport and expand our services we need the taxiway to function and to function efficiently. The real benefits are in the economic activity that we think we can attract to the airport because of our infrastructure.”

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The London International Airport is part of the National Airports System. The 26 airports in the national system serve about 95 per cent of all scheduled passenger and cargo traffic in Canada.

The federal money was made available under the National Trade Corridors Fund, which will see a total of $2 billion deployed across the country over an 11-year period.