August 23, 2023
Melfort airport to see repairs to runway
— By Nicole Goldsworthy, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Sasktoday.ca (Image: Wikipedia,
Melfort’s airport, based in northeast Saskatchewan, will receive improvements to its runway and lights this summer.
Lydia Steffen, Director of Public Works for the City of Melfort said the funding the city received was through the Community Airport Partnership Grant, which is a cost sharing agreement between the city and the province.
“This year, the full amount has been allocated for maintenance through crack filling of the taxiway and runway to extend its service life. The last time the taxiway — or runway — was paved was in 1998. Filling cracks helps prevent rain and moisture from flowing through the pavement and causing erosion or failure. By doing this, the rate of deterioration of the pavement is significantly slowed,” said Steffen.
Currently the Miller Field Airport has 15 hangars. Private planes and aerial applicators make up most movements to and from the airport, which exceeds 2,500 annually. Additional movements are made by Air Ambulance who had 41 missions to the airport in 2022, according to the City of Melfort.
The airport is used by both residents and local business owners for general aviation, but also by various industries like aerial applicators, Air Ambulance, and occasionally STARS. “Approximately 15 other communities rely on our community airport for air transportation services,” said Steffen.
“Any repairs to lighting at the airport are usually a part of routine maintenance, like replacing burned out lights etc. During the winter we had some minor damage which occurred during snow removal.”
This year, 154 children attended the COPA (Canadian Owners and Pilots Association) 182 event from all over the province. Bruce Schell from COPA 182 said attendees are usually mostly from the Northeast, but this year there were also children from the communities of Prince Albert, Saskatoon and as far as North Battleford.
“Our Local COPA 182 flying club organizes this event every year and has been for approximately 15 years,” Steffen said.
Schell said it is because of everyone’s passion for flying that this event is so successful. “Pilots, their families, their friends, the City’s Public Works crew and local organizations all work together to make it a success. There is a lot of planning that goes into the event. This year eight pilots volunteered their time and airplanes, with approximately 40 other volunteers helping with duties like ground transportation, registration, and the food booth.”
A seminar called “Rust Remover” was arranged by COPA 182 for new or experienced pilots looking to improve their aviation knowledge and to satisfy accreditation. Various experienced speakers present on topics from weather and flight planning, dealing with or declaring emergencies, stabilized approaches etc. This seminar is reviewed and approved by Transport Canada and therefore attending the event fulfills the 24-month recency requirement for pilots as per the Canadian Aviation Regulation Standards.