Cleared for takeoff! HP Airport reopens

Richard Froese
South Peace News

The High Prairie Airport has reopened after upgrades were completed over five months.

Big Lakes County announced the news in a news release Nov. 28.

The newly-paved 4,324-foot-long runway can now safely accommodate larger aircraft such as a Learjet 35A and medevac.

Upgrades to the airport would not have been possible without the support of the Town of High Prairie, High Prairie Forest Products under West Fraser Mill and Tolko Industries,” Reeve Richard Simard says.

“We also thank WSP Global Inc. and Ruel Brothers Contracting for helping us create a safe and accessible service for our residents, businesses, and visitors.”

Upgrades included LED lighting, a 120-meter runway extension, overlay, apron extension, and a wider access road from Highway 749.

Although the runway extension is complete, the county is waiting for Nav Canada’s approval to open the extension for landing.

Waiting to complete the upgrades and reopening the airport has been a long time coming for the county.

“After many construction delays due to poor weather, it is nice to have the airport open again,” airport operator Mel Beaudette says.

“Our county takes pride in our airport and the service it provides.

“Last year, the airport was used 138 times for medevac and 37 times for business, making it an essential service for our residents, businesses, Alberta Health Services, and STARS air ambulance.”

The airport is equipped with a pilots lounge and a 24-hour self-serve fueling system, which offers AV gas 100LL and Jet A fuels.

Big Lakes was able to utilize nearly $720,695 from the Strategic Transportation Infrastructure Program allocated through the Alberta Government to renovate the airport.

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