The Fort McMurray International Airport is taking another step forward in trying to add more traffic as they’ve fully rehabilitated their runway.
Wood Buffalo Council approved funding for the project last year through their Community Investment Grant Program.
The rehabilitation included an entire resurfacing of the runway using superior asphalt, installation of a new approach lighting system to enhance landing reliability in poor conditions, and construction of a newly required Runway End Safety Area to reduce the risk of aircraft damage in the event of an incident.
Plans have been in the works for over a year with construction beginning in August and finishing touches expected to be completed in mid-November.
“Air infrastructure is critical,” said RJ Steenstra, President and CEO of the Fort McMurray Airport Authority.
“This investment was very necessary from a safety standpoint. The runway had gone a fair amount of time without rehabilitation, obviously maintenance, but rehabilitation is critical.”
The airport employs over 900 people, has nine tenants who operate their businesses at the terminal, and supports more than 14 aviation businesses who use the runway.
“We see this as an investment into our community,” said Mayor Don Scott. “It’s going to be at least a 20-year investment depending on how many planes land on the runway.”
The runway is another step in the airport’s plans to bring in more flights.
Right now, they currently provide direct routes to five cities – Edmonton, Calgary, Toronto, Vancouver, and Fort Chipewyan.
The airport is looking to add routes to and from Kelowna and Las Vegas as they try and grow air service in the region
“YMM Airport is central to our region’s economic recovery efforts. The new runway represents our window into the future,” added Steenstra.