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Lethbridge Airport takes off with grand opening

The City of Lethbridge was cleared for landing today as they celebrated the grand opening of the Lethbridge Airport with stakeholders and government partners.

With more than $23 million in funding coming from the Governments of Canada and Alberta, the City has capitalized on creating an economic-driver for Lethbridge and surrounding regions.

Mayor, Blaine Hyggen, says the City's contribution of $2.6 million was used to leverage the substantial funding from other levels of government for a variety of critical infrastructure projects at the airport.

"We're so grateful to our Federal and Provincial partners for contributing more than $23 million to help bolster this facility for our city," says Mayor Hyggen. "This funding was used to renovate areas focused on increasing passenger traffic and fire safety – all to position the airport for pandemic recovery and future growth."

"The pandemic highlighted the important role Canada's local and regional airports play in our country's economy, and in sustaining the social and economic well-being of our communities," said the Honourable Omar Alghabra, Canada's Minister of Transport. "As we work towards recovery, investments in our local and regional airports continue to be crucial to maintain safety, security, and connectivity for travellers, workers and communities. The funding provided to the Lethbridge Airport will improve access to safe, reliable and efficient air transportation options, and will help us deliver on our commitment to build safer, healthier and stronger communities."

"Regional airports and infrastructure are critical in supporting supply chains, providing services, attracting tourists and visitors, and keeping families and friends connected in communities like Lethbridge," says the Honourable Daniel Vandal, Minister for PrairiesCan. "This new infrastructure for the regional airport will go a long way in supporting the economic recovery of Lethbridge and Southern Alberta."

"As we overcome the effects of the pandemic, regional air transportation hubs will play a critical role in economic growth for residents and local businesses," says the Honourable Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance. "Today's investments in Lethbridge Airport will improve aging infrastructure and will create new opportunities to connect communities."

 "The importance of airports for the movement of people and goods cannot be understated. They play a vital role in local economies by providing jobs, and they create a connection to the world outside of municipal and provincial boundaries," says Minister of Municipal Affairs, Ric McIver. "This project is an excellent example of how funding programs like the Municipal Sustainability Initiative and Municipal Stimulus Program help to build healthy and prosperous communities."

The City has a path forward to increasing passenger traffic and revenue diversification through land development. When fully developed, the YQL lands could provide $10 million annually in lease revenue.

Construction work continues at the Lethbridge Airport with the pavement rehabilitation, baggage carousel, airfield lighting system all to be completed by 2023.

Funding in detail

Terminal Building Renovation total $6,320,000

  • $700,000 funded by City of Lethbridge
  • $5,620,000 funded by the Alberta Municipal Sustainability Initiative

Substantial completion in November 2021 with full completion by 2022

  • Expansion of the passenger holdroom to allow for increased passenger numbers with additional airlines and/or larger aircraft to position at YQL.
  • Installation of washroom facilities in the passenger holdroom including washrooms to meet accessibility standards
  • Replaced old seating with new modern furniture
  • Upgrade to parking lot technology

Airfield Upgrades and Pavement Rehabilitation and Waterline upgrades total $18,932,700  

  • $1,938,000 funded by the City of Lethbridge
  • $10,353,000 funded by Municipal Stimulus Programs (MSP)
  • $6,641,700 funded by Transport Canada's Airports Capital Assistance Program (ACAP)

Completed in 2021:

  • Upgrades to pumphouse and water line service to ensure proper water supply for fire response at the airport;
  • Installation of new sand storage shed to ensure environmental factors do not degrade product for winter operations;

Project started in 2021 with project completion by 2023:

  • Rehabilitation of aircraft maneuvering areas, including Taxiways A, B and C; Apron I, II and III; and Runway 13/31;
  • Replaced antiquated airfield lighting system to meet Transport Canada compliance standards;
  • Extension of Taxiway B to enable future development of airside access lots.

General airport improvements total $583,480

  • $583,480 funded by Regional Air Transportation Initiative (RATI)

Ongoing general upgrades to the airport with project completion by 2023

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