June 15th, 2024

Hat getting $150K to study local airport’s future

By Medicine Hat News on April 5, 2024.

A sign welcomes travellers to Medicine Hat Regional Airport in this December 2020 file photo.--NEWS FILE PHOTO

@MedicineHatNews

The province will provide money to regional airports in Alberta to study potential service expansion, including $150,000 to Medicine Hat.

The city-owned regional airport is among 10 facilities that will share $1.13 million to study masterplans, development or look into business opportunities.

In Medicine Hat, money will be used to examine “Feasibility and Business Case for Airport Growth and Development.”

That will help inform a major update of the Airport Masterplan, now underway, and due after the provincially funded study evaluates business opportunity at the local airfield.

“This endeavour will pave the way for boosting the airport’s economic output and toward keeping Medicine Hat connected to other economies and major markets,” said Pat Bohan, managing director of the development and infrastructure division.

He says the money will provide a detailed facilities assessment to evaluate the lifespan, condition and capacity of airport infrastructure.

An overall update to the city’s airport strategic plan is set to be completed this year, an initiative of the development and infrastructure division that economic investment officials point to as a key priority in 2024.

A feedback exercise was completed last summer with residents, with future phases planned this spring. The city’s land department began reworking lots at the facility in the late 2010s in hopes of attracting more airside businesses and commercial development at the southwest entrance to the city.

“Regional airports are key assets in supporting the air sector and the movement of people,” Transport Minister Devin Dreeshen said in a release. “This investment will support the growth of Alberta’s regional airports and help restore and develop connections between our regional and international airports.”

As well on Thursday, the City of Lethbridge received $150,000 to look into hangar development feasibility, and similar amounts were provided to Red Deer to create a land development strategy.

Grande Prairie will study the potential to build a Border Services office. Fort McMurray will study recapturing lost passengers following the pandemic. Cold Lake will look into gaining schedule air carrier service.

Commercial development studies will be done in Whitecourt and Lloydminster, while masterplans are set to be done in High Level and Peace River.

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