Airport flights take off

Red Deer Airport is gaining ground with increased aircraft movements and the heralding in of new scheduled service starting this Friday.

Red Deer Airport is gaining ground with increased aircraft movements and the heralding in of new scheduled service starting this Friday.

The number of airplanes landing and taking off at the regional airport is showing a 36 per cent rise from January through March compared with the same time frame in 2011. It’s expected aircraft movements will run an estimated 47,000 in 2012, compared with 44,138 in 2011.

Northwestern Air Lease Ltd. will begin its scheduled direct non-stop service between Red Deer and Kelowna on Friday.

RJ Steenstra, chief executive officer for Red Deer Airport, gave these highlights as part of the first quarterly update to Red Deer city council on Monday.

“Obviously, we’re thrilled that Northwestern Air is coming on Friday and will make their first flight to Kelowna,” said Steenstra.

Both the aircraft crew and plane will be based here, said Steenstra.

As well, Northwestern Air begins direct non-stop service between Red Deer, Edmonton and Dawson Creek on May 14.

Charter air service is also seeing growth, Steenstra added.

If aircraft movements continue to grow, then NAV Canada, the private, non-share capital corporation that owns and operates Canada’s civil air navigation service, will look at building an air traffic control tower.

“We’re a ways off of that, but it’s an important marker for us in terms of aircraft movements,” said Steenstra.

Right now, there’s a flight service centre in the air terminal. Staff in the centre advise air traffic coming in.

Steenstra said over the last year, the airport has rebranded itself and really looked at how it fits within the marketplace.

The airport did a website redesign as well, giving more information on what services it provides.

It also began doing de-icing for planes on the tarmac last November, which has been so beneficial for passengers.

Steenstra said this year, the airport wants to continue to build its business and support Northwestern Air’s business.

It also is looking at applying for customs designation through CANPASS, which is a series of Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) programs expediting the border clearance process for frequent, low-risk, pre-approved travellers into Canada.

Steenstra said having the ability for passengers to clear customs would be convenient for those heading to or coming back from the United States.

CANPASS has some criteria though, including distance requirements between Calgary and Edmonton.

“That’s the challenge,” said Steenstra. “We physically are just outside (Calgary and Edmonton travel distance) so it’s convincing them that there’s an opportunity and a market here that should be served. It makes sense because we’re the largest airport in Central Alberta.”

The airport is holding its annual general meeting on Thursday at 5 p.m. at the Holiday Inn in Gasoline Alley. The public is welcome.

ltester@bprda.wpengine.com

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

Just Posted

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Alberta vaccine rollout expanding to front-line health-care workers

More than 240,000 eligible health-care workers can begin booking vaccine appointments starting… Continue reading

File photo
The Red Deer Rebels will have three new assistant coaches when the WHL regular season starts on Friday. Brad Flynn (left), will be on the bench alongside fellow assistant Ryan Colville (right) head coach Brent Sutter (middle). (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)
Sutter steps down as Red Deer Rebels head coach

Red Deer Rebels Owner, GM and head coach Brent Sutter has stepped… Continue reading

Premier Jason Kenney announced $200 million more money that will benefit seniors living in continuing care on Wednesday. (photography by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Alberta’s in-school rapid screening test program expanding

Alberta’s in-school rapid screening test program will expand to as many as… Continue reading

Parents and students learned Tuesday what the coming school year will look like. It's pretty much back to business as usual, said Education Minister Adriana LaGrange. School precautions include frequent cleaning, keeping students in the same groups where possible, planning the school day to allow for physical distancing and staying home when sick. (photography by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Alberta’s largest school board says no to United Conservative draft school curriculum

CALGARY — Alberta’s largest school board says it will not use the… Continue reading

Red Deer-South MLA Jason Stephan is among those who have signed an open letter criticizing the government’s return to stricter health measures. (Advocate file photo).
Updated: Kenney tells UCP caucus COVID-19 dissent OK, breaking health rules means expulsion

15 MLAs released letter on Wednesday critical of new health restrictions

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau watches a speaker appear by videoconference during a news conference in Ottawa, Friday, April 9, 2021. Grassroots Liberals have overwhelmingly endorsed a resolution calling on the federal government to develop and implement a universal basic income — despite Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's apparent lack of enthusiasm for the idea. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau winds up Liberal convention with election campaign-style speech

OTTAWA — Justin Trudeau wound up a three-day Liberal convention Saturday with… Continue reading

Team Canada skip Brendan Bottcher makes a shot against Italy at the Men's World Curling Championships in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, April 6, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Men’s world curling championship in Calgary in COVID limbo

CALGARY — The men’s world curling championship in Calgary remained suspended Saturday… Continue reading

Pipes intended for construction of the Keystone XL pipeline are shown in Gascoyne, N.D. on Wednesday April 22, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Alex Panetta
Non-profit Quebec law centre to aid environmental group targeted by Alberta oil firm

QUEBEC — The Quebec Environmental Law Centre is coming to the aid… Continue reading

Conservative leader Erin O'Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, April 6, 2020. Top Tory leaders of past and present will speak with supporters today about what a conservative economic recovery from COVID-19 could look like. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Conservatives cite empathy, relationships as ways to help expand their movement

OTTAWA — Conservatives should show empathy with Black residents who say they’ve… Continue reading

NDP Leader John Horgan celebrates his election win in the British Columbia provincial election in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. New Democrats are reconvening for the second day of a three-day policy convention as they look to push past the glitches of the virtual event's opening sessions and rally around keynote speaker John Horgan. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
New Democrats reconvene as hiccups, frustrations plague national policy convention

OTTAWA — New Democrats reconvened Saturday for the second day of a… Continue reading

FILE - In this Monday, Oct. 23, 2017 file photo, President Donald Trump speaks during a joint statement with Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington. Former President Donald Trump plans to affirm his commitment to the Republican Party — and raise the possibility that someone else will be the GOP's next presidential nominee — in a closed-door speech to donors Saturday night, April 10, 2021. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)
Trump in 2024? He says only that ‘a Republican’ will win

PALM BEACH, Fla. — Former President Donald Trump plans to affirm his… Continue reading

A cruise ship sits docked waiting for passengers to be evacuated in Kingstown, on the eastern Caribbean island of St. Vincent, Friday, April 9, 2021 due to the eruption of La Soufriere volcano. (AP Photo/Orvil Samuel)
Ash-covered St. Vincent braces for more volcanic eruptions

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent — People who ignored an initial warning to evacuate… Continue reading

Owner of 4 Point Taekwondo Kevin Mejia holds a board as organizer and martial artist Kevin Olsen breaks it in Edmonton on Friday, April 9, 2021. One hundred martial artists from around the world, will be breaking a board for an event called "Break for a Breakthrough." The idea is for martial artists to unite and re-engage with the arts because they may have drifted away or lost enthusiasm as a result of the pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Break for a Breakthrough: Canadian hosts international martial arts demonstration

EDMONTON — Whether he’s breaking a wooden board, a clay tile, cement… Continue reading

Most Read