Government helps airport with funding

Times-Herald Staff
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The Moose Jaw Municipal Airport is receiving a helping hand.

Pictured is an aerial view of the Moose Jaw Municipal Airport.

The airport has been given $15,000 for a new lighting wiring system and taxiway crack sealing, as a part of the Saskatchewan Government's Community Airport Partnership Program. The government funding will award $700,000 for the 50 per cent cost-shared program, for 15 community airports in the province.

According to James Pottage, operations manager for provincial airways, the funding is important to smaller communities and towns who don't usually budget a lot of money for their airport.

"It kind of shows the Ministry of Highways feel it's important to keep these municiple airports open," said Pottage. "We are losing a few every year, just about, and that does limit (people's) ability to travel around the countryside, especially in Saskatchewan by air." 

The funding is meant to offset costs for airports that don't receive scheduled passenger services, said the Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure through a press release.

"The government is pleased to renew its commitment to aviation, which plays such a critical role in Saskatchewan's growing economy," said Don McMorris, minister of highways and infrastructure in a press release." Airports connect communities across our large province, benefit regional industry and provide landing space for air ambulances."

Moose Jaw's airport is utilized more than the public is aware of, said Pottage.  

Beyond many business owners who fly out of the airport with their private aircrafts, the airport is used by crop spaying planes, sky diving groups and the air ambulance.

The funding will be welcome, said Pottage.

"Our lighting infrastructure is getting pretty old. It was all put in during the '80s and there has been short circuits, they are going to get it back working the way it was."

Since the program began in 2007, the government has invested $4.5 million into community airports.

Nathan Frank can be reached at 306-691-1263.

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