Ontario Construction News staff writer
The Ontario government is providing $5 million to expand the runway and increase the number of business park lots at the Parry Sound and Area Municipal Airport.
“This is a legacy project that will last for decades and decades …,” Premier Doug Ford said at the virtual announcement. “Make sure I’m there when we cut that ribbon and get the bulldozer going down the runway.”
“Individuals, families and businesses in Parry Sound have been struggling, and this airport expansion will help by attracting more investment, creating jobs and bolstering the local economy.”
The runway extension will increase airport capacity and accommodate larger aircraft, enabling more passenger and cargo transportation. The additional airside lots in the neighbouring airport business park will attract new companies to the area and help local businesses to expand and create more jobs.
“This project will exponentially expand the economic development potential of the airport and the industrial park,” said Norm Miller, Parry Sound-Muskoka MPP.
“Previous expansions have brought more jobs and have been an economic boon to the entire region. All of this is a great credit to the management of the airport.”
The airport enhancements and infrastructure upgrades will create easier access to essential services for more than 30 communities and First Nations in the area.
“Through this targeted investment in the Township of Seguin, our government, alongside the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund, is helping build long-term economic resilience in Parry Sound and the surrounding region,” said Greg Rickford, Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines. “This project will help retain and attract new business to the Parry Sound area as the community continues to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Since June 2018, Ontario has contributed $5,495,000 towards the airport’s business park expansion project, which has helped attract new private sector investments to the community.
“Seguin Township is delighted to continue the longstanding partnership with the province to help build essential and important transportation and economic infrastructure for our region,” said Ann MacDiarmid, Mayor of Seguin.
Funding for the airport project comes from the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC). The corporation promotes economic prosperity across Northern Ontario by providing financial assistance to projects – big and small, rural and urban – that stimulate recovery, growth, job creation and skills development. Since June 2018, the NOHFC has invested over $262 million in 2,549 projects throughout Northern Ontario, leveraging more than $1.1 billion in investment and creating or sustaining 4,771 jobs.
The Parry Sound and Area Municipal Airport was registered in 1979 and the runway was last extended in 1985. Sixteen businesses are located at the airport’s business park, employing approximately 85 people.
The airport is also used as a refueling stop for air ambulances, Hydro One, OPP and search and rescue aircraft.