Interested in aviation? Need a big space for a business project?
Elk Point Airport Commission members have worked hard and are bringing a revitalized, economically viable, easily accessible airstrip closer to realization.
CAO of Elk Point, Ken Gwozdz, provided an update at February’s council meeting. He explained that Pengrowth, a resource company with holdings in the region, has expressed interest in flying into Elk Point rather than to Bonnyville. Currently, the Elk Point airstrip is shorter than required by the company’s airplane lease, but there is sufficient space to increase the length, and with a few other changes, such as flattening the berm and removing some trees, construction should be straightforward. To make the airport functional 24 hours a day, LED lighting and approach navigational aids will be installed.
A Capital Development and Business Plan created by Integrated Airport Systems states, “These minimum enhancements will provide the necessary facilities to support economic development opportunities in the oil and gas, agricultural, tourist, commercial, and forest fire suppression support services.” As Gwozdz explained, an airport will generate business. Fueling, transportation, and accommodation will be required by people flying into the airport. Economic opportunities as diverse as a go cart track or an RV storage facility are possibilities for the site, as are others listed on the development plan. People interested in potential business investments can view suggestions at this link.
The total cost for the airport rehabilitation is estimated at $1 000 000, with the greatest cost being the installation of lighting and navigational aids. The County of St. Paul #19 has committed to a partnership with Elk Point, and both municipalities have applied for grants through Alberta Transportation on behalf of the airport commission. The Elk Point Lions and the Elks Lodge are also seeking funds.
Councillor Debra McQuinn summarized the attitude of parties interested in the airport as, “You make the airport compliant, we’ll use it!”