The Yorkton Municipal Airport has been a major beneficiary of the Community Airport Partnership (CAP) program. The provincial government has contributed $1.4 million over the past ten years to improvements at the airport, and this year the airport will receive $257,760.
This year’s funds are being used for the first phase of a runway rehabilitation project. MLA Greg Ottenbreit, who announced the funding, said that improving the runway surface is something that airports need to keep in good shape to maintain certification.
An up to date airport is important not only for the pilots and passengers who use it, but also for the economy of a region, said Ottenbreit.
“Any operators or any people who are involved in the economy realize that airports are an economic corridor to a municipality or a city, much like highways or other roads into the community... I’ve heard it said many times that a vital airport is like a canary in a coal mine for an economic indicator of an area. If you have a dying airport you likely have a dying community.”
The other reason to keep the airport up to date is safety, Ottenbreit said. Airports allow for air ambulance, for example, which is vital to people experiencing a health crisis.
This is a numbers matching program, and the city is matching the investment from the provincial government. Mayor Bob Maloney said that the CAP program has been important when it comes to the city’s plans for the airport overall.
“It has meant that we can get a lot of work done at the airport that we wouldn’t have been able to take on by ourselves.”
The planned runway work at the airport will begin this summer.