An $18-million airport expansion project will include widening the runway and constructing a terminal to support new low-cost passenger services.

These improvements will help the Red Deer Regional Airport attract new passenger and cargo services and offer a wider range of travel options to area residents, increasing the region’s tourism potential. More than 100 jobs will be created during construction.

“Central Albertans need a modern, expanded airport that will serve businesses, create jobs and give travellers more choice in airline options. Alberta’s government will make this project happen through this $7.5-million Budget 2022 investment.”

Jason Kenney, Premier

This investment in Alberta’s aviation industry helps the province further diversify the economy and create more jobs, growth and prosperity. The industry employed more than 71,000 people in 2020, and it continues to grow thanks in part to the Alberta Recovery Plan.

“The aviation sector is a vital part of Alberta’s Recovery Plan and this project will be a great boost to the Red Deer and central Alberta economy. This airport funding will attract more investment and new opportunities for residents and businesses.”

Rajan Sawhney, Minister of Transportation

“My optimism around economic opportunities in central Alberta is growing, thanks to this commitment to our airport. We will be able to diversify our economy while creating good-paying jobs and tourism potential.”

Adriana LaGrange, Minister of Education, and MLA for Red Deer-North

“Alberta is an economic powerhouse and the Red Deer airport is strategically centred in the dynamic Calgary-Edmonton corridor. This investment will position our airport to leverage its natural competitive advantages as Alberta and central Alberta prospers and grows.”

Jason Stephan, MLA for Red Deer-South

“Being able to expand on the airport’s rich history will improve economic opportunities across the region, attract investment and put people back to work. This grant shows everyone that central Alberta is a key contributor to our economic recovery.”

Devin Dreeshen, MLA for Innisfail-Sylvan Lake

“Now more than ever, aviation and aviation-related businesses are actively looking for alternatives to the ever-increasing costs associated with operating out of large airports. With low lease rates, free parking and no airport improvement fees, the Red Deer Regional Airport is well-positioned for future growth.”

Garett Cupples, board chair, Red Deer Regional Airport

“This expansion will provide huge economic benefits to central Alberta. Red Deer County is appreciative of this important investment from the Alberta government and the continuing commitment to build economic prosperity.”

Jim Wood, mayor, Red Deer County

“The Red Deer Regional Airport is a regional amenity that supports the whole of Alberta. This investment translates to not only potential for increased passengers, revenues and regional economic development, but also opportunities to generate employment at a time when the economy and travel industry needs it most.”

Ken Johnston, mayor, City of Red Deer

Quick facts

  • Construction tenders will be issued this month. Work is schedule to begin this spring and conclude in fall 2022.
  • Airport improvements include widening the main runway from
  • 30 to 45 metres, strengthening existing taxiways and aprons, and constructing a terminal to support low-cost passenger services.
  • The anticipated total cost of the airport expansion is $18 million – with $7.5 million from Alberta’s government.
  • Alberta’s aviation, aerospace and logistics industries employed nearly 71,000 people in 2020. These industries contributed $7.2 billion to the province’s GDP in 2020.
  • Alberta’s aviation industry has been ranked third in Canada by company size, fourth by number of companies and fourth by GDP contribution in aerospace and defence.
  • Alberta’s government created the Strategic Aviation Advisory Council in 2020 to provide expert advice to government on how aviation and aerospace can increase economic development opportunities, expand markets and create jobs in the province.
  • Expanding the aviation sector is a key goal of Alberta’s Recovery Plan.
  • Three low-cost Alberta based-carriers – the recently created Lynx Air, along with new routes added by Swoop and Flair Airlines – are strong signs of the province’s growing aviation industry.
Alberta's Recovery Plan