Work starts on airport ‘vision’
Red Deer County is preparing a 30-year planning vision for the Red Deer Airport.
The timing couldn’t be better, suggested Mayor Jim Wood, noting Air Canada debuted its new scheduled air service to local municipal representatives and business people on Tuesday.
“We are now connected to 170 destinations that Air Canada flies within the world,” he said.
“People don’t have to drive to Calgary or Edmonton to get on an airline that will take them anywhere pretty well.
“This is a milestone right now for this region.”
But with airport lots all taken, the time is right to prepare the way for future growth.
“Currently, they are running out of developable land,” said Wood.
“The last time the airport authority gave us a presentation they indicated the last lot was just used.”
The Red Deer Regional Airport Structure Plan plots out a planning direction for the facility on 900 acres near Springbrook to ensure it reaches its potential as a regional transportation hub over the next 20 years.
The plan includes setbacks and sight-line regulations to ensure that development does not hinder future air services or the operations of the navigation tower.
The document also ensures that all development meets Transport Canada standards.
Since future growth will be closely tied to luring new aviation businesses, the plan reserves airfield lands so there is room for future airside amenities. As well, other property is reserved for commercial developments that don’t require access to airport facilities.
Should the control tower need to be moved some day, land has been set aside in the plan at a central runway location.
Land has also been set aside for a future replacement terminal and the necessary parking.
Council gave the plan first reading on Tuesday and a public hearing will be held on Oct. 1.