Airport getting ready for takeoff in New Year

As flight traffic continues to rise at the Lethbridge Airport, the City of Lethbridge is excited to see renovations almost completed ahead of the grand opening set for the New Year.

After investing $2.6 million into the airport, the City has leveraged an additional $23 million in Provincial and Federal grant funding for a variety of critical infrastructure projects. Those projects are focused on increasing passenger traffic, revenue diversification through land development, fire safety, and more – all to position the airport for pandemic recovery and future growth.

"The airport is key in the continued growth of our economy," says Mayor, Blaine Hyggen. "The investment we've put into our airport also positions our city and region in a competitive place for business attraction and retention for years to come."

Most noticeably, the passenger experience has been elevated as the terminal building has undergone a significant renovation. The expansion of the holdroom will allow for increased passenger numbers with additional airlines and/or larger aircraft being accommodated. Other updates include a new baggage carousel, upgrades to the parking lot technology, upgrades to washroom facilities and new seating with technology charging capabilities.

What may be less visible to passengers but important to the safety and operations aspect of the airport will be the airfield and pavement rehabilitation updates. The planned upgrades include incorporating LED lighting to the airfield lighting system which saves on energy consumption and ongoing maintenance costs. All aspects are needed to attracted more airlines and larger aircraft to the region.

"Our plan is to focus on increasing passenger traffic and revenue diversification through land development," says Director of Corporate and Customer Services, Lisa Trent. "The City manages several leases at the airport that net approximately $580,000 in annual revenue. With an additional 900 acres of land primed for development, we could leverage that to provide upwards of $10 million annually in lease revenue and an additional $10 million in tax revenue."

The Lethbridge Airport has seen a 228 per cent increase in passenger movements in Q3 when compared to the same period in 2020. The grand opening of the newly renovated Lethbridge Airport is slated for late January in 2022.

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