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Expansion of Moose Jaw Municipal Airport runway improves aircraft access and airport safety

Located 13 kilometres northeast of the City of Moose Jaw in southern Saskatchewan, the Moose Jaw Municipal Airport serves the area’s agricultural and business sectors. The airport is the home base of Provincial Airways, which provides aerial application, flight training, aircraft rental, and maintenance services. 

The Moose Jaw Municipal Airport Authority (the Airport Authority) was created in 2018 to manage the City of Moose Jaw-owned airport. In 2020, the Airport Authority secured $3 million in public funding under the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program to expand the existing runway from 900 metres to over 1200 metres. The Airport Authority’s main priority for the runway expansion was to improve airport safety and access for the Saskatchewan Air Ambulance. The existing runway was too short for the Air Ambulance (King Air 200) to use safely at full gross weight. The shorter runway length also put the airport at a competitive disadvantage compared with other nearby airports. 

The expansion of the runway allows the airport to receive heavier and more modern aircraft, such as business class turbo props and light jets, and support training for the nearby 15 Wing Moose Jaw Canadian Forces Base, including Harvard II aircraft and the Snowbirds.”

“In addition to addressing safety concerns, these improvements extend the service life of existing pavement structures, and expand the airport to realize new business opportunities.” - Project Manager, Jacob Froh

Associated Engineering led all aspects of this project, including preliminary and detailed design, tendering, contract administration, construction inspection, post-construction services, and funding assistance. The project included cold milling and asphalt overlay of the existing runway; extending the runway by over 300 metres; extending the taxiways by over 800 metres; rehabilitating the existing taxiways and apron; relocating and extending the airfield lighting and upgrading the airfield power distribution; constructing a new hangar access road; and improving drainage throughout the airport. The improvements to the existing drainage system protect the runway, taxiways, and apron, and direct runoff away from existing hangars.

The project’s initial funding was insufficient to complete all of the recommended improvements, particularly within their preferred timeline for construction. 

“To maximize the budget and value for money, we recommended an extension to the completion dates and that the work be separated into three contracts. We successfully assisted the Airport Authority in their application for an extension to the ICIP funding deadline.”

We developed several alternatives for the runway and taxiway rehabilitation work and runway extension, so adjustments could be made to the scope of work after tendering to maximize the available budget. We also identified an additional funding stream (Community Airport Partnership through the Saskatchewan government), prepared the application, and were successful in securing the maximum funding, which increased the Airport Authority’s project budget by $500,000.

“As a result of the additional funding, we were able to complete the majority of the recommended improvements, including the milling and overlay along the entire existing runway and full-depth reclamation along the existing taxiways and apron, in addition to the runway and taxiway extensions.”

The team completed design in July 2020. Construction began in fall 2020 with the pre-grading work completed under the earthworks contract. The surfacing work (second contract) took place in 2021. Electrical work followed in late fall/winter 2021 and was completed in spring 2022.

Our key personnel on the project included Jacob Froh, Dave Anderson, Doug Falkins, Sang-Hyun Chungand Thomas Goddard.

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