Prince Albert among communities approved for airport funding

Photo submitted by City of Prince Albert.

The Government of Saskatchewan recently announced an investment of $1.5 million in the Community Airport Partnership (CAP) program as part of Budget 2021-22. The 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.

Prince Albert was approved for two application including a runway windsock and end markers and addition of a buried wildlife fence to the airport perimeter fence, which is valued at $106,650.

“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 in a release.

“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.”
Also in the area Melfort was approved for construction of two new taxiways and excavation of existing taxiway, which is valued at $26,350

As well La Ronge was approved for a drainage survey, culvert repair and assess surface condition, which is valued at $105,000,
“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.”

In 2020 the Government said that they more than doubled i 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.

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. Thus far 20 applications from 19 communities have been approved, totalling $1.26 million in funding from each partner.

Other communities approved include Carlyle, Esterhazy, Estevan, Kindersley, Kipling, Leader, Luseland, Maple Creek, Moose Jaw, Moosomin, RM of Eldon, RM of Snipe Lake, Shaunavon, Swift Current, Wynyard and Yorkton.

“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.
A total of 38 different communities have benefited since the program began.