Red Deer Regional Airport CEO Graham Ingam, with a rebranded sign. (Contributed photo by Nicole Holinaty).

Red Deer Regional Airport CEO Graham Ingam, with a rebranded sign. (Contributed photo by Nicole Holinaty).

Red Deer airport CEO hopes some passenger service can lift off by next summer

Perhaps there’s enough demand for tourist flights to B.C., says Graham Ingham.

Red Deer Regional Airport CEO Graham Ingham will spend the first quarter of the New Year trying to see if some passenger service can take-off by next summer.

This time, he wants to ensure it’s feasible and sustainable over the long run.

The airport has been “down this road before, with a somewhat poor track record,” he said referring to a couple of efforts that were each discontinued after a few years because they weren’t money makers.

This time, he plans to confer with regional carriers about whether it could be workable to establish seasonal passenger runs from Red Deer to Kelowna, Abbotsford and Comox, B.C.

He expects to know by April about whether some passenger service can be established by June.

Ingham hopes at least limited flights will be possible at the height of summer tourist season, if there isn’t enough business for other times.

“I’m not ruling out year-round service… I just can’t say (service) will be Monday-through-Friday, for 50 weeks of the year…”

Connections between Red Deer airport and Calgary or Edmonton will not be re-established next year, so central Albertans who are travelling from the two large airports will have to continue driving to them, he added.

“High-level” discussions are, meanwhile, continuing with several ultra-low-cost carriers about starting up service from Red Deer Airport. Ingham said there’s ongoing interest in potentially having access to three million Albertans from this central location, so he remains optimistic about future partnerships.

But the grounding of the Boeing 737 Max planes, which many of these airlines depend on, has delayed the launch date of potential partners, such as Enerjet.

His other effort is to continue selling the prospect of locating at Red Deer airport to companies around North America.

A new, expanded marketing campaign will begin next month, said Ingham, who noted the campaign will stress the opportunities of locating in this corridor, midway between Alberta’s largest cities.

With Tucana’s executive flight centre now at the airport to serve the needs of charter companies, Ingham is hopeful that more of the 900 sq metres of available land will be leased out by next spring.

There were 80, ooo takeoffs and landings at Alberta’s fourth largest airport in 2019 and no incidents or accidents because safety is always the main focus, he said.

A back-up generator was installed at the airport earlier this year, and refurbishment of the backup runway is planned in 2020 — starting in the spring and taking eight weeks to complete.

Ingham said the airport has been working towards a goal of being sustainable since Air Canada pulled passenger service in 2017, and has reduced expenditures by $300,000, or 15 per cent.



lmichelin@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Airport

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

 

(Advocate file photo).

(Advocate file photo).

Red Deer Regional Airport CEO Graham Ingham. (Advocate file photo).

Red Deer Regional Airport CEO Graham Ingham. (Advocate file photo).

(Advocate file photo.)

(Advocate file photo.)

Red Deer Regional Airport sign (Contributed photo)

Red Deer Regional Airport sign (Contributed photo)

Red Deer Regional Airport’s sign. (Contributed photo).

Red Deer Regional Airport’s sign. (Contributed photo).

Just Posted

Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Jonathan Vance responds to a question during a news conference Friday, June 26, 2020 in Ottawa. Vance is ordering his troops to be ready to pick up COVID-19 vaccines in the U.S. and Europe on short notice, and prepare to help distribute the doses while responding to floods and other emergencies. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Defence chief says CAF will be ready after ordering COVID-19 vaccine prep last week

OTTAWA — The Canadian Armed Forces received formal orders last week to… Continue reading

Geoff Neville poses for a photo with his sons Casey, 3, left, and Ryder, 6, in this undated handout photo. Geoff Neville is a rotational worker in Newfoundland and Labrador who works in a mine in Nunavut for 14 days in a row and then gets 14 days off to come home and see his family. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Geoff Neville
‘I’d love to be home:’ N.L. rotational workers facing bullying online

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — As Geoff Neville waited this week in a… Continue reading

Justice Minister David Lametti arrives for a news conference in Ottawa, Thursday November 26, 2020. The Liberal government is set to introduce long-awaited legislation today to enshrine the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in Canadian law. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Bill to enshrine UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in Canadian law

OTTAWA — The Liberal government is set to introduce long-awaited legislation today… Continue reading

In this Nov. 26, 2020, photo, President Donald Trump speaks with reporters after participating in a video teleconference call with members of the military on Thanksgiving, at the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Trump expected to flex pardon powers on way out door

WASHINGTON — Advocates and lawyers anticipate a flurry of clemency action from… Continue reading

In this March 18, 2019, file photo, the logo for IBM appears above a trading post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. IBM says it is breaking off a $19 billion chunk of its business to focus on cloud computing. The 109-year-old tech company said Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020, it is spinning off its managed infrastructure services unit into a new public company, temporarily named NewCo. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)
Phishing ploy targets COVID-19 vaccine distribution effort

BOSTON — IBM security researchers say they have detected a cyberespionage effort… Continue reading

Dan Cochrane, senior pastor at CrossRoads Church. Contributed photo
CrossRoads Church closes its doors for two weeks after staff member tests positive for COVID-19

CrossRoads Church made the decision to cancel in-house services for two weeks… Continue reading

Mikael Kingsbury, of Canada, trains during the FIS Freestyle World Cup skiing competition Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020, in Park City, Utah. Kingsbury will miss moguls races for the first time in his World Cup career after suffering a back injury in training on Sunday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Jeff Swinger
Canadian moguls star Mikael Kingsbury out four to six weeks with back injury

MONTREAL — Canada’s Mikael Kingsbury will miss moguls races for the first… Continue reading

Detail of James Wilson Morrice's "LaPlage."
James Wilson Morrice canvas outperforms at auction with more than million-dollar sale

A canvas by Montreal-born artist James Wilson Morrice exceeded expectations with a… Continue reading

Bank buildings are photographed in Toronto's financial district on Wednesday, June 27, 2018. International comparisons suggest Canadian financiers are oiling the wheels of the fossil fuel industry at a far greater rate than their peers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Tijana Martin
‘Canada really sticks out:’ Studies show banks not so green on climate change

International analyses suggest Canadian financiers are oiling the wheels of the fossil… Continue reading

Goals galore for Ronaldo, Giroud, Neymar in Champions League

Goals galore for Ronaldo, Giroud, Neymar in Champions League

Toronto Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins is seen at a media availablity to introduce new pitcher Shun Yamaguchi in Toronto on January 15, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
Jays ‘prepared’ if things pick up on free agency and trade fronts this off-season

Jays ‘prepared’ if things pick up on free agency and trade fronts this off-season

Shaquille Murray-Lawrence, left, and teammate Taylor Austin are shown during training in Whistler, B.C., in this undated handout photo. Montreal Allouettes running back Shaquille Murray-Lawrence is used to pysching himself up to sprint down a field, evading a crush of muscled men the entire way. But mentally preparing for his latest venture required bracing for a whole new set of anxieties. As he got ready to hop in a bobsleigh for the first time, Murray-Lawrence knew he'd be zipping down an icy track faster than cars are allowed to travel down most highways. Murrary-Lawrence, 27, is one of three CFL players who joined the national bobsleigh team after the league canceled its season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Shaquille Murray-Lawrence
Sliding into a new sport: CFLers turn to bobsled after football season wiped out

Sliding into a new sport: CFLers turn to bobsled after football season wiped out

North Carolina State defensive lineman Daniel Joseph (99) celebrates with linebacker Isaiah Moore after Moore forced a Liberty safety during the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020, in Raleigh, N.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ethan Hyman, The News & Observer via AP, Pool
Canadian defensive lineman Daniel Joseph enjoying a banner first campaign at NC State

Canadian defensive lineman Daniel Joseph enjoying a banner first campaign at NC State

A Canadian Pacific Railway employee walks along the side of a locomotive in a marshalling yard in Calgary on May 16, 2012. CP says an investigation is underway following the release of a video showing one of the company's trains running over dozens of pronghorn antelope in southwestern Saskatchewan.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
CP investigating after video shows train running over pronghorn antelope herd

CP investigating after video shows train running over pronghorn antelope herd

Most Read