The Moose Jaw Municipal Airport Authority held their Annual General Meeting on Jan. 11, with discussions taking place regarding work in 2023, and information provided on their future direction. 

Greg Simpson, Chair of the MJMAA, spoke with us about highlights from the meeting.

He said that in 2023, the Authority used $25,000 in CAP (Community Airport Partnership) program funding from the Saskatchewan Department of Highways for improvements, including filling cracks and apron sealing. CAP funding covered half of the costs for this project.  

The Authority also purchased an airport sweeper for cleaning runways and taxiways of any debris that could cause damage to aircraft. They also purchased a snowplow.  

The AGM included an overview of the airport’s five-year development and prioritization plan, which had been tendered to Ottawa’s HM Aero. 

“They did a significant amount of work interviewing stakeholders in this area, and then ultimately drew up the plan,” said Simpson.  

Interviews with stakeholders showed a desire for a crosswind runway, and the Authority then did an analysis of the wind to tell the best direction. “It would be a grass runway, so this would help a lot for the training school that’s out there, and smaller aircraft.” 

“There’s time where the wind angle is such that it’s dangerous – and impossible, in fact – to land on our runway when we have the crosswinds at too high a velocity.” 

While it isn’t planned to be built this year, they are looking to find funding and make design plans to build it within the next few years.  

Plans are also in place to install lights on the main apron in 2024, with an estimated cost of $20,000. “This will help with visibility and safety, especially when you have air ambulance coming in at nighttime.” The 2022-2023 year saw 11 Saskatchewan Air Ambulance patient transport missions at the municipal airport.  

They will also be looking to construct fencing and gates for security purposes around the main apron, with an estimated cost of $85,000.  

Another safety addition will be a weather observation system, at an estimated cost of $19,000. “It’ll include wind, temperature, dew point into the altitude and altimeter settings.” 

With an increase in traffic during the summer, they’ve applied for CAP funding to start the process of getting a second apron.  

Another longer-term plan is building a terminal, which they are looking to action around 2026, at a current estimated cost of $1.7 million.  

Funding for projects typically comes from a combination of leases at the airport, the City of Moose Jaw, and CAP applications.  

The MJMAA is also actively looking to become an Airport of Entry (AOE) and they have submitted an application with Canadian Border Services Agency. Currently, aircraft from other countries like the United States have to land at an AOE to clear customs before they can fly to Moose Jaw, and approval for this could allow for customs clearance locally.  

Simpson says they are also looking for people interested in constructing hangars to store their aircraft. You can find more information on the Authority’s new website here