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ATB takes note of airport activity

A spike in activity at the Red Deer Airport has caught the eye of ATB Financial’s senior economist.

In ATB’s Daily Economic Comment for Wednesday, Todd Hirsch described the importance of regional airports to Alberta’s economy.

And he observed that the Red Deer Airport, with 50,886 flights in 2012, was the busiest of them all.

“Not only does it now handle the most air traffic, it has grown faster than any other — up 25 per cent since 1997,” wrote Hirsch.

“Much of this increase is no doubt due to the growth in population and economic activity in Red Deer over the past 15 years. It is now one of the most important industrial service hubs in the province.”

Hirsch noted that the Grande Prairie and High Level airports have also seen an increase in aircraft movements, although not to the extent of Red Deer’s airport. Meanwhile, activity levels at the Peace River, Whitecourt and Lethbridge airports are down.

A news release issued by the Red Deer Airport in response to Hirsch’s comment pointed out that the Springbrook-based facility has become one of the busiest regional airports in all of Canada.

“The numbers are indicative of the airport’s continuing influence on the economics of the area,” said Red Deer Airport CEO RJ Steenstra, in the release.

During the past year, the Red Deer Airport has gained scheduled passenger service to Kelowna, Abbotsford and Fort McMurray.



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