Upgrades at HP Airport in final stages

Work to widen the main access road to High Prairie Airport by 30 feet continues and is scheduled to be complete before November.

Richard Froese
South Peace News

A project to extend the runway at High Prairie Airport and widen the main access road is heading into the final stages.

“I expect work to be complete in the current construction season,” says Delon Young, project manager for contractor WSP Global Inc.

Timelines are confirmed by Vic Abel, director of corporate services for Big Lakes County.

“Upgrades to the airport should be completed by the end of October, weather permitting,” Abel says.

The 393-foot-long runway extension is complete to extend the airstrip to 4,324 feet long.

“That will allow for larger planes such as a Learjet 35A to land safely at the airport,” Abel says.

“It will also ensure the safety of all our air traffic.”

An overlay of asphalt and new lighting on the runway is also complete.

As the final component of the project, the county is widening the road from Highway 749S to the airport by 30 feet.

The airport has been closed to regular air traffic since the project started in mid-June.

STARS air ambulance still has access as needed, Big Lakes County states on its website.

Funding of up to $720,695 for a new overlay of the runway and to upgrade lighting was announced June 4, 2018 for the county under the provincial Strategic Transportation Infrastructure Program.

Other local partners in the project include the Town of High Prairie, High Prairie Forest Products under West Fraser Mills and Tolko Industries, Abel says.

Big Lakes County took over ownership of the airport in 2016 from the Town of High Prairie.

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