Lethbridge celebrated the grand opening of its expanded and improved airport on May 11. The $23 million project, funded by the province, city and federal government, will help to increase passenger traffic and revenue diversification through land development, according to the city. It estimates airport lands could provide $10 million annually in lease revenue once fully developed.
“This has been a long time coming. We have been dealing with the old terminal for quite a long time and it wasn’t the most passenger friendly experience so this is huge for us,” said Cameron Prince, airport manager. “We will keep doing what we can to attract more airlines, more routes and continue to grow and give more back to the community.”
Lethbridge Mayor Blaine Hyggen said the city’s contribution of $2.6 million was used to leverage substantial funding from other levels of government.
“We appreciate the significant support both our provincial and our federal governments have put behind this important infrastructure, not just for Lethbridge, but for all of Southern Alberta,” he said. “The airport is key to the continued growth of our economy. The investment we put into our airport also positions our city and our regions a competitive place for business attraction and retention.”
Premier Jason Kenney attended the grand opening ceremony, along with Nathan Neudorf, Lethbridge East MLA and Ric McIver, Minister of Municipal Affairs.
“The renovated airport itself promises to increase municipal revenues and will attract more businesses and people that will actually help the city to do more of the good things the citizens of this city and the surrounding areas have come to depend upon,” McIver said.
The city said work is continuing at the airport, with pavement rehabilitation, baggage carousel and airfield lighting system upgrades all to be completed by 2023.
“What an exciting day to be here for the official grand opening of the new, improved and expanded Lethbridge Airport,” Kenney said. “This is a big moment for this community, for southern Alberta, for the future of the region’s economy and I am so excited to be here to see this day finally arrive.”