MP for Red Deer North Blaine Calkins, City of Lacombe Counsellor Chris Ross, Lacombe County Reeve Paula Law, Lacombe Flying Club President Jon From and Lacombe-Ponoka MLA Ron Orr cut the ribbon to the newly renamed Lacombe Regional Airport. Todd Colin Vaughan/Lacombe Express

Lacombe Airport renamed Lacombe Regional Airport

New runway lights, taxiway introduced at ceremony

The Lacombe Airport has been renamed the Lacombe Regional Airport after a collaboration between the City of Lacombe, Lacombe County and the Lacombe Flying Club brought in some much-needed improvements to airport.

The main improvements include a new taxiway, as well as essential new LED lighting which were in part paid for by a grant from the Government of Alberta.

“It is a very big day,” Flying Club President Jon From said. “We have more than just a new name, we have a new taxiway we develop last fall that is allowing for new hanger construction to begin this spring and that gives us a chance for sustained growth at the airport to ensure we will be here for another 50 years.”

According to From, the runway lights were around $200,000 and the taxiway was around $150,000. From said the lights are a huge improvement for fliers.

“The old lighting system was about 50 years old and it was well past it’s prime — parts were no longer available,” he said. “We got a grant from the Province of Alberta last summer, as well as financial contributions from the City, County and the Flying Club, to put in the new LED lighting system.

“It is a state of the art system that makes flying much safer.”

The grant also has another benefit according to MLA Ron Orr, who said the old lights will help repair and place older lights at the Innisfail Airport.

“What happened is that all of the lights in Lacombe were given to Innisfail to repair their lights and they will be good for a few years,” Orr said.

These improvements, to an airport that sees anywhere from 10,000 to 20,000 flights per year according to From, have also opened the door for future developments.

“This year’s project is finishing paving the oldest taxiway which has asphalt about 50 years old is hopefully being repaved and we will put in a new parking lot on the west side to service the new hangers going in on the north end,” he said.

From said the collaboration on this project will help ensure the airport is viable for the foreseeable future.

“We have signed a new 25-year lease with a 25-year renewal a year and half ago, so the airport should be here for at least another 48 years. We have lots of room to grow and we hope to slowly grow with the community,” he said.

Lacombe County provided 25 per cent of the capital costs of these projects and Reeve Paula Law said she was impressed with the commitment of the Lacombe Flying Club.

“This airport has been in the region for 55 plus years and is being totally run by volunteers — you don’t see that very often. To be able to help out and provide some funding support to keep it going is something we are very pleased to be doing.

The City of Lacombe provided 50 per cent of the cost and City of Lacombe Counsellor said the Club has allowed the partners to plan more efficiently.

“The Flying Club has developed a strategic plan which has given direction to what needs to be done over the next few years and that has been very valuable during budget planning.”

Orr said that changes at the Red Deer Regional Airport have led to growth opportunities for Lacombe.

“It is great to see this one grow and the reality is with the Red Deer airport is that as it grows, it is becoming a larger commercial hub,” he said. The smaller flights, recreational fliers and the flight training groups are being pushed out and coming here and to Innisfail.

“These airports are improving as that airport takes on a different mandate and focus.”



todd.vaughan@lacombeexpress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Blackfalds Minor Baseball Tournament

Teams from all over the province squared off in Blackfalds

City of Lacombe, WCPS recognize teacher Steve Schultz for his recent Prime Minister’s Award

Schultz has pioneered student-led initiatives through the Ecovision Club and the URL Club

Alberta Education Minister Adriana LaGrange stops by Lacombe

LaGrange takes questions from Grade 6 students

City of Lacombe recognizes outstanding volunteers

City events rely heavily on volunteers

Life-changing Parkinson’s boxing club coming to Lacombe

Non-contact program helps drastically improve Parkinson’s disease symptoms

10 facts about Father’s Day

Did you know that the special day for dads was first celebrated in 1910?

No business case for Trans Mountain expansion, says former environment minister

Cabinet is expected to announce its decision on the expansion of the Alberta-to-B.C. pipeline by Tuesday

Alberta Mountie found not guilty of dangerous driving causing pedestrian’s death

RCMP Const. Michelle Phillips also found not guilty of dangerous driving causing bodily harm

Three Albertans land ‘monster’ sturgeon in B.C.’s Fraser River

For angler who landed the exceptionally large sturgeon it was an ‘incredible dream come true’

Toronto Raptors and their diverse team celebrated worldwide

Team is made up of players from the U.S., Canada, Cameroon, the Republic of Congo, and Spain

Further murder charge laid after alleged targeted hits in two Alberta cities

Jimmy Truong, who is 27, has been charged with first-degree murder in the shooting of Louie Angelo Mojica

Pot edibles, topicals and extracts to hit shelves no earlier than mid-December: Ottawa

Health Canada wrapped its public consultation on the draft rules for cannabis products in February

We the North: Delirious fans celebrate as Raptors win NBA title

Supporters from all over Canada cheer Toronto’s triumph

Excited, anxious fans prepare for Raptors to play in Game 6 of the NBA Finals

The Raptors currently lead the Warriors 3-2 in the best-of-seven series

Most Read