Larger, heavier aircraft can now land at the Victor M. Power Airport in Timmins following the completion of a $9.5-million runway rehab project.
In the planning since 2018, the job involved the repaving of both the main 6,000-foot runway and the secondary 4,900-foot runway, as well as two taxiways, the equivalent of about 40 kilometres of roadway.
Road contractor Miller Paving refinished the runways with 125 millimetres of asphalt, which will extend their lives and provide greater load-bearing strength.
Transport Canada's Airports Capital Assistance Program (ACAP) provided a little over $5 million for the project, while the City of Timmins covered the remaining $4.4 million.
Airport manager Dave Dayment lauded the completion of the work, which he called “important to our region's economy.”
“Our next step will be to develop a 20-year strategic plan for the airport that will outline opportunities and priorities that are needed to move forward,” Dayment said in a June 17 news release.
“Right now, with the completion of this project and with ongoing mining and industry development, our airport is ready to meet immediate demand."
Owned and operated by the City of Timmins, the airport serves about 180,000 passengers a year, but it's also a hub for shuttling cargo to northern communities, aircraft maintenance, and emergency medical transportation.
Air Creebec, which serves communities in the James Bay region, has established an administration and maintenance centre at the airport, while the Ministry of Natural Resources uses the facility as a district base in its firefighting efforts.
Calling this a "major project for the airport and the city,” Timmins Mayor George Pirie said this latest improvement will open up new possibilities for economic development in the area.
"Improvements to our infrastructure allows us to encourage growth and seek out opportunity,” Pirie said in the release.
“Now that we can land larger and heavier planes, we can explore partnerships with travel and tourism companies.
“We are positioning Timmins as a regional leader with the services and amenities to attract business, industry and a diverse population." -30-