October 22nd, 2021

Medicine Hat gets biggest airport grant in Canada

By Collin Gallant on May 26, 2017.

The city will receive a $12.99-million grant toward replacing the runway at Medicine Hat Regional Airport as well as improving lighting and drainage.--NEWS PHOTO EMMA BENNETT

Medicine Hat News

Medicine Hat is the big winner — and by a long shot — as a basket of federal grants for airport improvements was officially unveiled Thursday by Transport Canada.

Local administrators revealed in early May that the city will receive $12.99 million toward replacing the runway at Medicine Hat Regional Airport as well as improving lighting and drainage on the 35-year-old field.

The complete list of Airports Capital Assistance Program grants announced in Ottawa shows that a total of $41.7 million will be spent at 34 smaller airfields across Canada in 2017 and 2018.

Medicine Hat’s amount is more than double funds given to any other single project.

Baie-Comeau, P.Q., will received $5.9 million for runway replacement. The airfield at Trail, B.C. will receive $4.7 million in total for runway paving and another small project.

During the initial announcement, City of Medicine Hat officials described the federal award as “extraordinarily good news” considering that an original application for runway work only totalled $7.5 million when it was submitted in 2015 . Further engineering showed however, the need for new storm water controls that need to be installed beneath the current runway lights.

The additional work was added to an amended application, which Transport Canada approved this spring.

Field work and lighting could be completed in several weeks this coming fall mostly overnight as not to disrupt air traffic, managers say.

The runway, which hasn’t been resurfaced since the early 1990s, will be redone in 2018.

Among the other grants announced on Wednesday, Peace River will receive $340,000 for various projects and Rainbow Lake, in northern Alberta, will receive $912,000 in lighting upgrades.

Cranbrook ($427,000 for apron improvements) was one of seven locations in that province to receive funds.

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