Red Deer Airport is getting another $400,000 from Red Deer County.
Airport chief executive officer Graham Ingham welcomed the new funding.
“In recent years, important maintenance was deferred in order to focus on other initiatives, such as the runway expansion and Montair Aviation.
“Although the existing level of service has not been affected, we are at a point whereby we need to dedicate more time and resources to ensure we run a safe and efficient airport.”
Some of the money will go towards a $912,000-project to refurbish one of the Springbrook airports taxiways. That project is expected to start in early June and take about a month.
Ingham said City of Red Deer and Red Deer County have split the cost of the project and the money is now in hand to do the work.
It is much more than a paving project, he said.
“Because the airport is so old a lot of the infrastructure has got to be completely dug out. So, we’re going right down to the sub-base.
“It’s just no at simple as a mill and pave.”
The taxiway will be designed to handle the kinds of heavier jets the airport has been working hard to lure. Several ultra-low cost carriers are taking a close look at Red Deer and the airport expects by 2020 additional scheduled passenger service will be in place.
Air Canada is currently running three flights a day to Calgary out of Red Deer Airport.
A portion of the county money is also going to update software and to buy a new maintenance vehicle.
“We upgraded our safety software so that is fully integratable with NavCanada software.”
County chief administrative officer Curtis Herzberg said the county “takes great pride in being a key partner for the Red Deer Airport.
“Overall aircraft movements continue to rise dramatically, and we look forward to ever greater connections between the people and goods of this region and the rest of the world.”
The funding will come in the form of a one-time payment, and will not affect tax rates.