Feds, GNWT, fund $3M runway lighting upgrade at YK Airport

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The federal government is investing over $2.5 million to upgrade the airfield lighting at the Yellowknife Airport, an overhaul government officials say will increase passenger safety, save energy costs and strengthen infrastructure at the territory’s busiest airport.

The federal minister of national revenue, Diane Lebouthillier, made the announcement during a press conference at the Yellowknife Airport Sunday afternoon, where she was joined by Liberal MP for NWT Michael McLeod and GNWT minister of Infrastructure Wally Schumann.

The two-year project aims to rehabilitate the airfield lighting at the airport by “installing elevated high-intensity LED edge and threshold lights and wind direction indicators on Runway 16-34,” the Yellowknife Airport’s primary runway, according to a news release from the Government of Canada.

The federal funds come from Transport Canada’s Airports Capital Assistance Program (ACAP).

Minister Schumann, who called the capital’s airport the “gateway to our communities and southern destinations,” announced the GNWT will contribute “15 per cent of the total project, bringing the value of the project over $3 million.”

The project will also see “high-intensity lights” implemented on the approach to Runway 34 at the Yellowknife Airport.

Schumann said the overhaul will see the current incandescent lighting system replaced with an improved LED system.

“While today’s funding announcement helps us strengthen our airport infrastructure in the NWT, it does more than that,” said Schumann.

The lighting face-lift will also, he said, will mean “lower energy costs through the reduction of energy consumption.”

Schumann said the funding will ultimately “support economic opportunities through the central hub of the NWT airport system,” and will strengthen traveller confidence.

Since ACAP’s launch in 1995, the Yellowknife Airport has received nearly $10 million in federal dollars for six safety projects. One of those projects saw the purchase of a rescue and firefighting vehicle.

The federal government has invested more than $880 million in APAC projects at 186 airports across Canada.

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