Premier Rachel Notley toured the runway extension at the Red Deer Airport on Thursday afternoon.
Graham Ingham, CEO of the Red Deer Airport, said it was exciting to have the premier visit the airport.
“It’s fantastic. Anytime you can get the premier out to the airport is certainly encouraging and we’re so happy that we were able to get the funding to do the runway extension,” he said. “It’s definitely good use of the province’s as well as the City and County’s money. It will definitely help us grow the business as well as become a key economic driver for both the City and the County of Red Deer. It is our long-term goal to increase the traffic here – currently we are doing about 42,000 movements a year.”
The 2,000 ft. runway extension was officially completed in March.
Kayla Smith, director of airport development, communications and marketing said the new extension allows the airport to explore more carrier options. “Primarily we could only accommodate the turbo prop but now we can bring in the jet aircraft so that opens up a whole avenue of opportunities for the airport.”
Ingham added officials are excited to have the extension complete before the 2019 Canada Winter Games.
“That is something we want to capitalize on and be able to support all of the athletes for the 2019 Canada Winter Games,” he said. “That is something we are definitely striving towards.”
A grand opening of the runway extension will take place May 12th.
Next up, officials at the airport are entering into discussions regarding terminal expansion to help accommodate more people.