The Impact Assessment Agency of Canada on March 22 announced funding to help the public and Indigenous groups participate in the impact assessment process for the proposed Waterloo Airport Runway Project, located in Breslau, Ontario.

Funding is available for eligible individuals and groups to assist their participation during the impact assessment’s planning phase. During the current comment period, which ends April 18, 2021, the public and Indigenous groups are invited to review the summary of the initial project description and provide comments. The Impact Assessment Agency of Canada (IAAC) will retroactively reimburse eligible participants for their participation in this first comment period.

Applications received by April 21, 2021, will be considered.

Located in located in Breslau, Ont., the Region of Waterloo International Airport (WAI) is proposing to extend runway 14-32 from the current length of 1,250 metres to a final length of 2,134 metres, construct new access roads and a parallel taxiway, modify the runway approach lighting, and expand or relocate the terminal building. IAAC explains this work would improve the overall use of the airport by upgrading the runway, which is currently capable of serving aircraft of Aircraft Group Number IIIA, so that it would become capable of serving aircraft of Aircraft Group Number IIIB.

In outlining its runway expansion plans, Waterloo International explains, currently, Runway 14-32 can accommodate light general aviation aircraft and flight training activity, while Runway 08-26 can accommodate larger narrow-body aircraft (i.e. Boeing 737). Wide-body aircraft (i.e. Boeing 767 aircraft with two aisles) cannot use the airport at this time, explains Waterloo International, and there is no secondary option for narrow-body aircraft, which restricts larger aircraft from operating in poor weather conditions, such as rain, ice or high winds.

Extending Runway 14-32 to a length of 2,134 metres (7,000 feet) will improve the safety and reliability of the airport, explains Waterloo International: When Runway 08-26 has strong cross-winds combined with wet or icy conditions, larger narrow-body aircraft would be able to land on Runway 14-32. Additionally, scheduled air service could use Runway 14-32 when Runway 08-26 is closed for repairs.

The runway extension project design generally includes the following:

• Extend Runway 14 by 555 metres (1,820 feet) (northwest towards Breslau);
• Extend Runway 32 by 329 metres (1,080 feet) (southeast towards Cambridge);
• Extend Runway 26 by 529 metres (1,737 feet) (west towards Guelph);
• Construct taxiways parallel to the runway extensions;
• Construct access roads around the runway extensions;
• Move Runway 26 approach lighting;
• Install new approach lighting for Runway 14;
• Move or upgrade other visual aids;
• Move or tunnel Shantz Station Road; and,
• Upgrade how aircraft manuever around airport.