After assuming operations of the Bonnyville Airport in November 2020, the M.D. is moving ahead with upgrades and operational improvements in 2021.
The biggest upgrade will be in the form of a new taxiway being built at the airport, located on Highway 41, just north of the Town of Bonnyville.
The project, which is currently in the design phase, was started by the airport’s former owner, and the Town of Bonnyville. Construction is scheduled to begin this spring.
Other upgrades to the unmanned airport include renovations to the terminal, upgrades to the lighting systems and wildlife fencing. The estimated total capital costs in 2021 are just over $2 million.
“Airport maintenance is important,” said Chris McCorkell, M.D. Foreman responsible for the airport. “In addition to the oil and gas industry, Alberta Health Services, RCMP, and STARS also utilize this airport. It’s an important facility for the community.”
At the M.D.’s meeting on January 6, Council also approved a request from Cenovus to erect a temporary shelter onsite for its employees using the airport.
Terminal capacity was reduced to eight people due to COVID-19 regulations and Public Health Orders. Cenovus will pay the cost of setting up and maintaining the temporary, heated building, which will be large enough for 20 employees.
“Logistically, it made sense for the M.D. to take over the operations and maintenance of the airport, as we have the resources and experience available,” said Reeve Greg Sawchuk. “The improvements to the taxiway and drainage will be good for the airport and the community, and we look forward to engaging with users to explore new opportunities and events.”