Upgrades ready to take off

An extension to the runway at the High Prairie Airport is expected to increase air traffic and service.

Richard Froese
South Peace News

More and larger aircraft at the High Prairie Airport is expected, thanks to upgrades funded by the provincial government.

Up to $720,695 for a new overlay of the runway was announced June 4 for Big Lakes County under the Alberta government’s Strategic Transportation Infrastructure Program.

The county may use some of that funding to extend the runway to accommodate more traffic and larger aircraft.

At its regular meeting June 13, county council increased the upgrades budget by $691,000 from the transportation reserve fund.

“Before administration proceeds with tendering this project as reflected in the budget, we would request that consideration be given to include the runway extension portion of the work,” states a report from Vic Abel, director of public works.

“Completing a runway extension in the future as a stand-alone project would likely be at a significantly increased cost,” he added.

An extension of 393 feet would allow a Learjet 35A aircraft to land at the airport.

Users of the airport agree upgrades and extension of the runway will increase traffic, says a letter from WSP Canada Group Limited.

“Simply stated, any increase in runway length will allow for safer, more consistent air service for High Prairie and the region the airport serves,” states the letter signed by Stephane Leclair, senior aviation planner.

“Additionally, the runway extension will increase the potential for local or new industries that operate aircraft to consider High Prairie as a viable location to establish operations. . .”

Medevac services, industry and business will enhance services with the extension.


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