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Deer Lake Regional Airport saw modest decrease in passenger traffic in 2017

Deer Lake Regional Airport Authority vice-chairman Dean Porter presided over the groups’ annual general meeting in Deer Lake on April 11.
Deer Lake Regional Airport Authority vice-chairman Dean Porter presided over the groups’ annual general meeting in Deer Lake on April 11. - Roxanne Ryland photo

The Deer Lake Regional Airport Authority held its annual general meeting at the Holiday Inn in Deer Lake on Wednesday night.

Here are some of the key items included in president and chief executive officer Jamie Schwartz’s report:

  1. The 2016-17 fiscal year continued the trend of strong traffic levels and business activity during the first part of the year, but the winding down of the Muskrat Falls project and a weakening economy had a negative impact during the last quarter.
  2. Record traffic numbers during the summer due to an exceptionally strong tourism season boosted passenger traffic at year-end to 365,186, just 864 less than the record established in the previous year.
  3. The downward trend in the last quarter is expected to continue, as there is no indication commuting worker activity to northern Alberta will rebound and, to date, there are no other major projects to replace the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric project when it is completed.
  4. The airport finished the fiscal year with an operating surplus of $509,80
  5. The airport’s long-term debt position, resulting from previous terminal building and runway extension capital projects, improved to $5,985,821.
  6. Capital improvement expenditures in 2016-17 totalled $876,183. The largest expenditure was the purchase of a front-end loader and attachment. Other major expenditures covered a variety of improvements and upgrades to many of the airport’s buildings, including a demolition and renovation of the restaurant to make room for a new Robin’s Donuts location.
  7. There are significant projects on the horizon that will require substantial investment. The most notable of these will be a runway resurfacing and rehabilitation project tentatively scheduled for 2020-21.
  8. Dec. 1 will mark the 20th anniversary of the Deer Lake Regional Airport being transferred from Transport Canada to the Deer Lake Regional Airport Authority Inc., a not-for-profit regional, independent and autonomous organization.
  9. A new four-year collective agreement was negotiated between the Airport Authority and the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) in June 2017 for the 20 members of Local 90945 who provide administrative, operational and technical services at the airport. The new agreement, which was finalized and signed on Oct. 30, 2017, is set to expire on Nov. 30, 2020.
  10. Future focus:

— to manage and plan new and existing capital development projects;

— attract and expand airline industry services; 


— develop partnerships with the private and public sectors to attract new air service  business opportunities
;

market the airport’s land base potential and attract new commercial activity; 


enhance the customer service experience; 


continue to promote, advertise and market the airport’s services. 


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