Lethbridge Airport renos celebrated as ‘gateway to southern Alberta’

Click to play video: 'City celebrates Lethbridge Airport renos as ‘gateway to southern Alberta’' City celebrates Lethbridge Airport renos as ‘gateway to southern Alberta’
The city marked the grand opening of the Lethbridge Airport on Wednesday. Provincial dignitaries, including the premier, were on hand for the occasion. Erik Bay has more on the revamped airport and whether recent upgrades will be able to bring in more air travel options. – May 11, 2022

Members of the provincial and municipal governments were on hand Wednesday for the official ribbon cutting of Lethbridge Airport’s newly renovated facilities.

The upgrades include passenger hold room expansion, new washrooms and revamped parking lot technology.

Mayor Blaine Hyggen calls the airport a key structure for the city’s economy.

“Encouraging continued growth of passenger traffic, improving the net operating margin and the negotiating agreements for establishing new routes to and from the Lethbridge Airport are the primary goals,” Hyggen said.

Read more: ‘Much more comfortable experience’: Lethbridge Airport shows off new upgrades

“We hope this is the beginning of many more regular civilian air service flights to come out of YQL in the future,” Premier Jason Kenney said.

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Currently, WestJet is the only passenger service using the airport, with Flair Airlines adding a route to Tucson, AZ before the end of the year.

Air Canada stopped service out of Lethbridge in early 2020 and the recent renovations don’t appear to have any impact on its operations.

Read more: Air Canada ‘indefinitely’ suspending service at Lethbridge airport beginning March 31

“We do not have immediate plans to resume service at Lethbridge Airport,” an email from the company tells Global News.

“We’re continually in those discussions, we’re always having discussion with other airline partners,” Hyggen said. “We do have an airport incentive framework that’s trying to work with these different partners, so it’s definitely something where we’ll always have those discussions. We welcome any airline to be able to fly out of our community.”

The airport will see more passengers taking to the skies soon. WestJet is increasing its service to twice-daily later this month and to three-times daily by mid-August.

Read more: Ready, set, go: Air travel taking off again at Lethbridge Airport

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“We continue to be pleased with the demand for our service in Lethbridge. In May alone we will fly thousands of guest to and from the region,” a statement from a WestJet spokesperson reads in part.

Meanwhile, upgrades continue on the exterior of the facility. They include taxiway rehab and extension and replacements to airfield lighting.

Completion is expected in 2023.

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