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Expansion planned for Sault airport

Federal funding of $1.8 million will extend infrastructure, create jobs

The Sault Ste. Marie Airport industrial park is expanding, and federal funding of $1.8 million is designed to help ease the growth.

Sault MP Terry Sheehan announced funding for the park on Aug. 26. It will be used to upgrade water, sewer, and electrical infrastructure.

The funds come from FedNor’s Northern Ontario Development Program.

“By funding the extension of services at the Sault Ste. Marie Airport industrial park, we are helping to open the door to lucrative opportunities,” Sheehan said in a news release.

“This project is another great example of how the Prosperity and Growth Strategy for Northern Ontario is helping Northern Ontario communities and entrepreneurs succeed in the modern economy.”

The infrastructure upgrades are needed to accommodate growth at the industrial park.

The government said two new lease agreements and a business expansion project are contingent on the upgraded site services.

Should these expansion projects go forward, an estimated 100 full-time jobs are expected to be created over the short to medium term.

“Today’s announcement will allow us to capitalize on opportunities from interested commercial tenants that will bring more than 100 jobs to the Sault Ste. Marie area,” said Jerry Dolcetti, chair of the Sault Ste. Marie Airport Development Corp., which oversees operation of the airport.

“In addition, the upgraded services will assist us in filling several remaining industrial and commercial spaces in the park that are aviation compatible.”

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Sheehan additionally announced a new grader for the airport, valued at $217,100, to help clear ice and snow from runways, taxiways and the apron. That funding comes from the government’s Airports Capital Assistance Program (ACAP).

Located on 1,800 acres of land southwest of the City of Sault Ste. Marie, the airport is home to two runways, each measuring 6,000 feet (1,829 metres), and serviced by multiple airlines.

Daily service is supplied by Air Canada Express, Bearskin Airlines, and Porter Airlines, while Sunwing Airlines provides seasonal service to sun destinations during winter months.

A number of tenants call the airport home, including Sault College Aviation, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry Fire Management and Flight Training Centre, JD Aero, Humphrey Aviation, Eagle Feather Aviation and Sault Academy of Flight.