Passenger service and land development key to Red Deer Airport success

Passenger service and land development key to Red Deer Airport success

New terminal needed to attract scheduled air service

The vision for Red Deer Airport’s success is getting a little clearer.

Last week, design drawings for a new terminal were received, another step toward providing crucial infrastructure, including a bigger apron, to attract scheduled passenger service, said board chairman Ben Antifaiff on Thursday.

“Our terminal in its current state is not of sufficient size to attract any scheduled passenger carriers,” Antifaiff said.

“Right now, we can’t de-plane an aircraft. We need to build that capability,” he said after the airport’s annual general meeting.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if Air Canada came back if we had the facilities. It’s not a matter of that they left, it’s when will they come back.

“I think it’s reasonable to think air service will begin in our region in the next 18 months, so we have to be just ahead of that.”

The terminal and apron will be multimillion-dollar projects. The airport is still looking at whether another building can be retrofitted into a terminal or a new structure is needed.

Expanding the existing terminal has been ruled out, although it may be suitable as a base for a charter air carrier. Antifaiff was not putting a dollar amount on it Thursday.

Meanwhile, efforts to market Red Deer Airport to investors have been stepped up with the hiring of an Ontario-based development company.

Rice Group, based in Markham, will help market about 200 acres of vacant land available around the north end of the airport at Springbrook.

Antifaiff said the partnership with Rice has been in the works for about a year and is part of the airport’s effort to become more self-sustaining, while creating economic prosperity by developing land and luring scheduled passenger service back.

Developing the land around the airport is a big part of the future vision. Calgary developer EFC Developments is also involved.

“What the Rice Group can bring to us as a community is strong development experience. They also have experience working in the aviation industry and have done land development for a number of other airports around the country.”

Rice Group president and CEO Michael Rice said his company focuses on job-producing properties. When working on projects at Toronto’s airport, his company saw a demand for aviation-related properties, especially in connection with cargo businesses.

“Red Deer is one that fits, like a Hamilton or an Abbotsford, which we are involved in, because it’s adjacent to large cities, but partially undeveloped, and (there’s) a lot of opportunity for development for new cargo facilities and that kind of stuff.”

Red Deer offers a “strategic location” at reasonable cost, he said.

“In an airplane, whether you land in Red Deer, Edmonton or Calgary, it doesn’t really make any difference.”

Enerjet is one of the companies that is looking at Red Deer for scheduled passenger service.

“Enerjet fully intends to be providing scheduled passenger service to many points across Canada, easily within the next 12 months,” said Darcy Morgan, one of the company’s founders.

“We look forward to the potential for providing that kind of service to Red Deer, once the proper infrastructure is in place to handle the kind of aircraft that we’ll be flying.”



pcowley@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta has 3,651 active cases of COVID-19.  (File photo)
Gov’t reports two more COVID-19 deaths in Red Deer on Sunday

Nineteen new deaths, including two in Red Deer, were reported by the… Continue reading

Andre Lemus, the owner of Las Palmeras in Red Deer, says he hopes in-person dining restrictions are lifted this upcoming Thursday. (Photo courtesy www.laspalmeras.ca)
Red Deer restaurant owner hopes in-person dining restrictions are lifted Thursday

The owner of a Red Deer restaurant says business has “dropped” since… Continue reading

The Town of Ponoka and the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees (AUPE) have ratified a new agreement, averting a strike. (File photo from Facebook)
Alberta gov’t ‘using pandemic as shield to lay off workers,’ says AUPE

The Government of Alberta’s “attacks on workers” is continuing with a new… Continue reading

Rocky Mountain House RCMP, EMS, Search and Rescue, STARS air ambulance and Alstrom Helicopters worked together to rescue a fallen ice climber Friday. (Photo contributed by Rocky Mountain House RCMP)
Rocky Mountain House RCMP help rescue fallen ice climber

Rocky Mountain RCMP helped assist a fallen ice climber Friday afternoon. At… Continue reading

Dwayne Buckle, 40 of Red Deer finished a 1,638-kilometre walk, in honour of his family. The 12-week, 82 day-journey wrapped up in Port Hardy, B.C. on Monday. Facebook photo
Red Deer man completes 1,638 km hike for cancer research

Dwayne Buckle, a Red Deer firefighter returned home Friday after his 12-week journey

A cat named Willow is shown in this recent handout photo. Victoria firefighter Capt. Tim Hanley says using a jackhammer and other home repair tools to save a cat stuck in a tiny basement drainpipe ranks as the strangest rescue call he's been on in his 20-year career. Hanley says he and three other firefighters spent more than two hours using sledgehammers and a jackhammer to break through Victoria homeowner Emma Hutchinson's concrete basement floor to free Willow, a nine-month-old kitten. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Twitter, City of Victoria
Victoria firefighters use homeowners’ jackhammer to rescue cat trapped in tiny pipe

VICTORIA — A Victoria firefighter says using a jackhammer and other home… Continue reading

Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on December 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
No place for ‘far right’ in Conservative Party: O’Toole

OTTAWA — Federal Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole says there is “no place… Continue reading

Alberta Energy Minister Sonya Savage addresses the attendees while Tom Olsen, Managing Director of the Canadian Energy Centre, looks on at a press conference at SAIT in Calgary on Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Greg Fulmes
‘Morally and ethically wrong:’ Court to hear challenge to Alberta coal policy removal

First Nations, ranchers, municipal officials and environmentalists hope to persuade a judge… Continue reading

Sub-Lt. Jeffrey Delisle arrives at Nova Scotia provincial court for a sentencing hearing in Halifax on Friday, Feb. 1, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Canada’s spy-catching system caused delay, angst in Delisle case: former FBI official

OTTAWA — The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation’s former head of counter-intelligence… Continue reading

People wait to be screened before entering Little Mountain Place, a long-term care home that has had 41 residents die since a COVID-19 outbreak was declared at the facility in November in Vancouver on Sunday, January 3, 2021. Staff in long-term care homes across Canada are struggling to isolate elderly residents with dementia during COVID-19 outbreaks, accelerating the deadly spread of the virus, experts say. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Care home staff struggle to isolate dementia patients during outbreaks: experts

VANCOUVER — Staff in long-term care homes across Canada are struggling to… Continue reading

A passer by walks in High Park, in Toronto, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. This workweek will kick off with what's fabled to be the most depressing day of the year, during one of the darkest eras in recent history. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
‘Blue Monday’ getting you down? Exercise may be the cure, say experts

This workweek will kick off with what’s fabled to be the most… Continue reading

Winnipeg Jets' Blake Wheeler (26) just misses the net against goaltender Laurent Brossoit (30) during  scrimmage at their NHL training camp practice in Winnipeg, Wednesday, January 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods
Jets return to practice a day after suspending workouts due to COVID concerns

WINNIPEG — The Winnipeg Jets have returned to practice a day after… Continue reading

Most Read