The Parry Sound Area Municipal Airport is getting an injection of $5 million in funding to help expand the runway and increase the number of lots in its business park.
Announced on Feb. 4, the funds come from the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund.
Expanding the runway means greater airport capacity and the ability to accommodate larger aircraft, while adding lots to the business park creates the possibility of attracting new companies to the area and expansion for existing businesses.
The planned upgrades are also expected to create easier access to essential services for more than 30 communities and First Nations in the area, according to the province.
Northern Development Minister Greg Rickford said the funding would help build “long-term economic resilience” in the region.
“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," he said in a release.
Currently, 16 businesses call the airport’s business park home, employing roughly 85 people.
Established in 1979, the airport is used as a refuelling stop for air ambulances, Hydro One, the OPP, and search and rescue aircraft.
Its runway, currently at 4,000 feet, was last extended in 1985.