Lake Simcoe Regional Airport continues to “widen” its horizon

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Ontario Construction News staff writer

Phase one of a multi-phase runway expansion project is complete at the Lake Simcoe Regional Airport. The widening of the runway from 100 to 150 feet, combined with airport service upgrades including LED high intensity runway lighting, machinery and infrastructure enhancements, are part of an extensive $60-million Strategic Plan to enhance the LSRA as a key economic asset for the region.

Construction was completed approximately four months ahead of schedule, just as the LSRA was chosen by Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) to be one of a select few airports to have its CBSA clearance status reinstated, allowing international flights to resume in and out of the LSRA following all COVID safety protocols

“We’re pleased that the runway widening project was completed ahead of schedule and in time for CBSA’s most recent announcement, which supports businesses and corporate partners at the LSRA,” said County Warden George Cornell.

“From investors to current businesses, many of our industry partners are already recognizing the opportunities that exist due to the airport’s premier location, convenient transit links and our growing workforce in Simcoe County.”

The development strategy focusses on improvements to attract and sustain growth in corporate services, while supporting demand from area businesses wanting to utilize the airport for shipments of goods and services around the world.

Since becoming the majority shareholder in 2019, the County’s financial investment and future commitment has put the LSRA in a competitive position and secured new opportunities in advanced manufacturing and aerospace, including strategic collaboration with Volatus Aerospace, MediCA Park and the Oro Station Sports Development group.

The larger runway expansion not only opens new markets for business, specifically corporate aviation (passenger and freight), and will encourage new cluster development and innovation to occur at LSRA, it provides an additional margin of safety for larger aircraft, especially during periods when the runway is wet or contaminated with snow.

Phase two of construction – currently awaiting approvals – will extend the runway from 6,001 feet to 7,000 feet and allow larger intercontinental corporate aircrafts to operate out of LSRA.

“The LSRA is a huge economic asset for our region and will become even more critical as our economy and manufacturing sectors continue to grow,” said LSRA board chair Richard Norcross. “The County is investing in the airport, making the right enhancements to support the needs of our business partners.”

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