Government Invests $1.5 Million in Community Airports to Support Economic Recovery
The Government of Saskatchewan is investing $1.5 million in the Community Airport Partnership (CAP) program as part of Budget 2021-22. This funding will provide improvements to 19 community airports around the province. When combined with local matching dollars, CAP represents a $3 million investment in provincial airport infrastructure.
"As a commercial pilot myself, I know of the benefit these investments will have on some of our more rural and remote communities," Highways Minister Fred Bradshaw said. "These revitalization and rehabilitation projects will bring some much needed upgrades to some of our community airports and runways, leading to better usage and reliability for medical, emergency and transportation services to all regions of the province."
Last year, the Government of Saskatchewan more than doubled its funding for the CAP program to $1.5 million, an increase of 114 per cent over the previous year. A portion of the 2021-22 investment, $650,000, comes from the $2 billion stimulus package announced in mid-2020. The Ministry of Highways will be investing $300 million from that stimulus fund over several years into projects like resurfacing of runways, improvements for pilot assists at airports and several other highways specific projects.
"It's exciting to see the upgrades taking shape at the Moose Jaw Municipal Airport," Moose Jaw Mayor Fraser Tolmie said. "We thank the Government of Canada and the Government of Saskatchewan for recognizing the value of this project and making significant investments that will provide long-term benefits to our community."
"The Tri-Communities of La Ronge, Village of Air Ronge and Lac La Ronge Indian Band, as well as the surrounding districts, is thrilled that we are receiving the CAP grant for the much needed servicing and repairs of the La Ronge Airport," La Ronge Mayor Colin Ratushniak said. "As a vital hub and gateway to Northern Saskatchewan we provide an important service to air ambulance and aerial firefighting and ensure the capabilities to connect families and tourists with commercial services. The CAP grant will ensure that we can continue to offer the highest of standards and safety to our clients, which in return ensures the economic growth of Northern Saskatchewan."
The CAP helps municipal airports offset the costs of rehabilitation, construction and infrastructure improvements by providing cost-shared grants, up to a maximum of $275,000. So far, 20 applications from 19 communities have been approved, totalling $1.26 million in funding from each partner:
- Carlyle: Runway slurry seal, repaint runway lines and numbers and add ceilometer to Automated Weather Observing System (AWOS), valued at $33,911;
- Esterhazy: Crack seal and slurry seal on runway, valued at $5,883;
- Estevan: New fence posts and wire, valued at $37,750;
- Kindersley: Replace runway lighting and crack sealing on runway, valued at $36,715;
- Kipling: Weather data instrumentation, valued at $10,280;
- La Ronge: Drainage survey, culvert repair and assess surface condition, valued at $105,000;
- Leader: Line markings and numbers on runway and aprons, valued at $5,453;
- Luseland: Crack filling on runway and apron, valued at $47,699;
- Maple Creek: Painting lines and numbers on the runway, valued at $4,240;
- Melfort: Construction of two new taxiways, excavation of existing taxiway, valued at $26,350;
- Moose Jaw: Rehabilitation of existing taxiways and a portion of the apron, valued at $275,000;
- Moosomin: New paved, lit runway with new taxiway and apron and plans for Area Navigation (RNAV) and AWOS valued at $275,000;
- Prince Albert (two applications): Runway windsock and end markers and addition of a buried wildlife fence to the airport perimeter fence, valued at $106,650;
- RM of Eldon No. 471: Crack seal on runway, taxiway and apron, valued at $5,664;
- RM of Snipe Lake No. 259: Crack seal and slurry on runway, taxiway and apron, valued at $50,350;
- Shaunavon: Replacement of airport beacon light, valued at $3,500;
- Swift Current: Runway rehabilitation and airfield signage upgrades, valued at $167,500;
- Wynyard: Recapping taxiway and apron, valued at $16,738; and
- Yorkton: Crack seal on pavement and new anchor stakes, valued at $50,379.
"Community and regional airports are important and valuable assets to the regions they serve, assuring critical medical service as well as driving economic growth," Saskatchewan Aviation Council President Janet Keim said. "The Saskatchewan Aviation Council applauds the Saskatchewan Government for continuing to support the CAP program, assisting communities in maintaining and improving infrastructure at their airport."
Another intake of applications will take place this fall to allocate the remaining funds.
Since 2007, more than $10.5 million has been invested in Saskatchewan's community airports. When coupled with 50-50 matching community contributions, the CAP program has generated more than $21 million in airport improvements. A total of 38 different communities have benefited since the program began.
For more information about CAP, please visit www.saskatchewan.ca/residents/transportation/airports/