Lethbridge Airport Reopens its Doors at Grand Opening

May 11, 2022

Wednesday, May 11, 2022, Lethbridge saw the grand opening of the newly renovated City of Lethbridge Airport. Some of the many improvements include updated seating and amenities in the secure holding area, as well as upgraded capacity for both the exterior foyers of the airport and the secure holding area. The renovations also see the needed addition of more washrooms and renovations to the runways and water lines.

Tom Little Bear blesses the Lethbridge Airport Grand Opening

The grand opening began with a traditional Blackfoot blessing and prayer from Kainai Elder, Tom Little Bear. From then on, there were speeches made by many of the important figures in achieving these renovations.

Starting off with Premiere Jason Kenney, who discussed the many important parts of the economy that tourism helps boost, and how these renovations will allow Lethbridge to continue to benefit from Southern Alberta tourism, and in turn, Southern Alberta will benefit as well. 

Following Kenney, there were words from Ric McIver, Nathan Neudorf, and Mayor Blaine Hyggen, all speaking about the exciting opportunities the newly renovated airport can now offer both residents and visitors of Lethbridge

Ric McIver and Nathan Neudorf trade places at the Lethbridge Airport Grand Opening

The Lethbridge Airport is a hub for travel to and from Lethbridge, a UNESCO World Heritage Site Hub and gateway to Southern Alberta experiences. The airport facilitates flights from WestJet, who recently increased the amount of flights to and from YQL Airport; as well as a recent addition, Flair Airlines, who now charters flights from Lethbridge to Vancouver and Lethbridge to Tucson, Arizona flight which will begin service starting December 1, 2022.

The renovations to the airport, totalling just over 23 million dollars, have not only increased the capacity of passengers that can be held in the secure holding area as well as the addition of a luxury coffee machine and washrooms in the secure holding area.

The Entrance to the airport and check in area also saw vast improvements to both look, lighting, and space. With the finalizations of all the interior renovations inside the airport finished in late 2021, with the exterior renovations such as water line upgrades and pavement rehabilitations on the runways completed by the end of 2022.

The Lethbridge Airport, since the beginning of 2022, has seen improvements in the number of travellers moving both in and out of the airport. The airport itself is expected to help grow the economy of the Southern Alberta region for many years to come.

Here is a list of all the renovations made to the airport in an itemized list, provided by the city of Lethbridge Airport.

Terminal Building Renovation total $6,320,000

  • $700,000 funded by City of Lethbridge

  • $5,620,000 funded by the Alberta Municipal Sustainability Initiative

Substantial completion in November 2021 with full completion by 2022

  • Expansion of the passenger holdroom to allow for increased passenger numbers with additional airlines and/or larger aircraft to position at YQL.

  • Installation of washroom facilities in the passenger holdroom including washrooms to meet accessibility standards

  • Replaced old seating with new modern furniture 

  • Upgrade to parking lot technology 

Airfield Upgrades and Pavement Rehabilitation and Waterline upgrades total $18,932,700  

  • $1,938,000 funded by the City of Lethbridge

  • $10,353,000 funded by Municipal Stimulus Programs (MSP)

  • $6,641,700 funded by Transport Canada’s Airports Capital Assistance Program (ACAP)

Completed in 2021:

  • Upgrades to pumphouse and water line service to ensure proper water supply for fire response at the airport;

  • Installation of new sand storage shed to ensure environmental factors do not degrade product for winter operations;

Project started in 2021 with project completion by 2023:

  • Rehabilitation of aircraft maneuvering areas, including Taxiways A, B and C; Apron I, II and III; and Runway 13/31;

  • Replaced antiquated airfield lighting system to meet Transport Canada compliance standards;

  • Extension of Taxiway B to enable future development of airside access lots.

General airport improvements total $583,480

  • $583,480 funded by Regional Air Transportation Initiative (RATI)

Ongoing general upgrades to the airport with project completion by 2023

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