Red Deer Regional Airport is making a pitch to land new investors.
The Springbrook-based airport announced on Thursday it has nearly a square kilometre of airside land available along with competitive aviation service rates and no business taxes.
Phase 1 of an $18-million expansion project is underway that will see the main runway widened to 45 metres from 30 metres, seen as a key improvement to attract heavier aircraft, including cargo operators and low-cost passenger service. Being able to welcome larger aircraft also provides more opportunities for aviation maintenance and repair businesses.
Runway widening work is expected to be finished by mid-October. In 2016, the runway was lengthened to accommodate bigger aircraft.
A second phase would see a new 12,000-square-foot terminal built with room to handle nearly 200 domestic or international passengers at a time.
Future projects include a solar-powered car port in the main parking lot that will also supply power to the terminal. There are also plans to improve runway safety with areas for mishaps, such as aircraft overshoots or undershoots. Runway strengthening and approach lighting upgrades are also planned along with infrastructure improvements, including road, water, sewer and Internet service.
The 800,000 square metres of land at the north end of the airport starts at $2 per square metre.
Red Deer Regional Airport Authority CEO Graham Ingham said the airport’s upgrades are specifically designed to support ultra-low-cost air carriers, and aviation logistics and cargo businesses.
“As a key economic driver, the development of the airport’s north end with aviation-related businesses further supports the economic growth for the region and our vision as an airport.”
About 20 businesses and other tenants are already located at the airport, including Sky Wings Aviation Academy, Montair Aviation, Springbrook Aerospace, Titan Avionics Inc., Air Spray, Buffalo Air Express and others.
Earlier this summer, the Alberta Utilities Commission announced it had approved a 20-megawatt solar power project next to the airport
Saturn Power Inc., an Ontario-based renewable energy developer, is behind the project that would be constructed at the north end of the airport on land co-owned by the airport, Red Deer County and a private property owner.
Development of the project began in 2019 and has included three years of community outreach and stakeholder consultation. One megawatt can power roughly 1,000 houses a year.