By Brian Lockhart, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, New Tecumseth Times
The Lake Simcoe Regional Airport is moving ahead with plans to become a key economic asset for the region.
The airport recently completed phase one of a multi-phase runway expansion project.
Along with widening the runway from 100 to 150 feet, the project included other airport service upgrades, including LED high intensity runway lighting, machinery, and infrastructure enhancements.
The upgrades are a part of a $60 million Strategic Plan to make the airport more accessible and play a major economic part in the region.
Simcoe County’s Airport Development Strategy is focused on making improvement to attract and sustain growth in corporate services, while supporting growing demand in the region to use the airport for shipments of goods and services around the world.
“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 Simcoe County Warden, George Conell. “Our Council is committed to continuing to develop the airport as one of our most important regional economic assets. 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 early completion of the runway project allowed for early reinstatement of Canada Border Services.
The project was completed around four months ahead of schedule allowing international flights to resume.
Since becoming the majority shareholder in 2019, the County’s financial investment and future commitment has secured new opportunities in advanced manufacturing and aerospace including strategic collaboration with Volatus Aerospace, MediCA Park, and the Oro Station Sports Development group.
The runway expansion will open up new markets for business — specifically corporate avition, including passenger and freight — and will encourage new cluster development and innovation to occur.
The expansion project has already encouraged new business at the airport including a new flight school, restaurant, and addition corporate aircraft who now call the Regional Airport home.
“Given our proximity to the GTA and Simcoe County’s world-class manufacturing business, 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 Richard Norcross, County Councillor and LSRA board Chair.
“The County is investing in the airport, making the right enhancements to support the needs of our business partners for generations to come.”
The Lake Simcoe Regional Airport accommodates both international passenger and freight flights.
(Photo: Lake Simcoe Regional Airport)