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Feds provided $74K for safety upgrades at airport

Just days after the launch of round-trip service between Chicago O’Hare International Airport and Waterloo Region the federal government announced new funding for safety improvements at the Breslau facility. As Chicago-bound passengers sat waiting for their flight last Sunday, Kitchener-Conestoga MP Harold Albrecht stepped up to a podium in the terminal and announced $73,559 in funding through the Airports Capital Assistance Program (ACAP) to install runway guard lights.

Kitchener-Conestogo MP Harold Albrecht announces $73,559 in funding at the Region of Waterloo International Airport on Sunday. The money will help with the installation of runway guard lights. [colin dewar / the observer]
 “We have seen a lot of expansion here at the airport over the last little while, with Bearskin Airlines, WestJet and American Airlines, and this is good news for the region,” said Albrecht. “We are continuing to improve our regional airports and enhance air safety for Canadians while at the same time helping to boost the local economy and create jobs.”

ACAP funds safety related projects at Canada’s regional airports, which Albrecht called an important part of Canada’s economy and transportation system. The program gives local airport authorities the funding they need to continue to operate in a safe and efficient manner.

The program also boosts the economic viability of airports. Safety upgrades support the efficient transportation of goods facilitating trade to and from the region creating local jobs and helping to ensure the right conditions for economic growth and long term prosperity, said Albrecht.

“Investing in our airports helps to ensure that Canada’s aviation sector remains one of the safest in the world.”

To date, the program has invested more than $585.6 million toward 715 projects at 173 regional airports across Canada. Most of the projects were airside safety-related projects such as runways, taxiways, and visual aids as well as heavy airside mobile equipment such as fire trucks and snowplows.

“Canada’s regional airports play an important role in supporting the economy, trade and tourism while at the same time helping to bring us together as a nation,” said Albrecht.

“Local airports are vital gateways for those living in regional and rural communities, an essential life line for delivering much needed supplies to support families and local businesses. They also, as is the case in the Region of Waterloo, connect regional economies with markets and rural residents with the rest of Canada and the world.”

Art Sinclair, vice-president of the Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber of Commerce, said the airport is very important to the growth of the local economy competing in global markets. He emphasized how the new Chicago direct flight has become a huge asset to those within the region’s agricultural sector looking to expand into markets within the American Midwest.

“This is a considerable and important investment to our local airport,” said Sinclair. “This announcement is critical to our competiveness in the region being able to expand into new markets.”

Recently funded improvements to the region’s airport cost-shared with the federal government have included resurfacing the runway and construction of the fire station and maintenance facility.

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