The Moose Jaw Municipal Airport Authority (MJMAA) held its Annual General Meeting Tuesday night at the Heritage Inn Hotel & Convention Centre.

One of the big highlights from the past year was the runway extension and rehabilitation project that was completed.

"We added the thousand feet of new runway and about two thousand feet of new taxiway and rehabbed our apron. Of course, there was lighting that had to be added to the new runway and we put new taxiway reflectors on. It was a significant project," said MJMAA Chair Greg Simpson.

The cost of the project was roughly $3.75 million.

Simpson says the added runway space will improve safety for planes that are taking off and landing, especially for the air ambulance. The added space also makes the airport a lot more attractive to bring in larger, faster and higher-performing aircraft.

The majority of planes that are using the Moose Jaw Municipal Airport are agricultural planes used for spraying crops. The airport is also used for business, skydiving, and to support 15 Wing training. Simpson notes there has been a 70 per cent increase in activity since 2015.

He adds they would like to see the airport being used as an Airport of Entry, with a formal application being submitted to Canada Services Border Agency (CBSA).

Simpson talked about the importance of the airport to the City of Moose Jaw and the surrounding area.

"Tax base is what it's all about. In a province, and within our city, and in the RM of Moose Jaw. Anytime you can start to become competitive with bigger centres like Regina and Saskatoon, now Moose Jaw becomes a very competitive option. I think it's a great city to move to and to build families on. We're situated well in terms of access to the United States and then reaching across Canada. I think that that's really what we see featured with this airport."

The airport does not charge a landing fee, however, since the improvements were made, lease rates have increased by 10 per cent. A fuel surcharge of 5 cents a litre is also being charged.

The MJMAA is aiming to have a Master Plan in place in 2023, which will help guide the facility in the years to come. The plan would include a site visit, windrose analysis, development plan, terminal plan, cost estimates, and a summary report.

Simpson says the ultimate goal is to become a charter-style facility and not to compete with the airport in Regina.

MJMAA AGMMJMAA Vice Chair Jarrett Johnson talked about the airport authority's Master Plan. Chair Greg Simpson is also pictured.