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Survey finds clear desire for commercial air service

Lakeland residents need commercial air service. That’s the overwhelming result of a survey conducted by the City of Cold Lake in late 2017.

The poll found 98 per cent of people living within 150 kilometres of the city would likely use regularly scheduled flights to a major airport. More than 3,500 people responded, of which just over 3,000 live in the catchment area. That’s four per cent of the entire population.

On average, respondents took 3.3 trips by air in the prior 12 months, and 88 per cent had taken a flight in that time. Mayor Craig Copeland says the city always knew there was a strong demand in the area.

“With CATSA-screened flights, people would be able to check their bags in Cold Lake and seamlessly connect to flights across the country, or the world, through the main terminal at a major hub airport. We see a strong demand for this type of service in the survey.”

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The city has been trying to get regularly scheduled air service since late 2012, and will be using the survey results to market the city to air carriers.

The federal government made regulatory changes in July 2015 that would allow CATSA screening to come to Cold Lake through CFB Cold Lake. $1.5 million has been allocated in the city’s 2018 budget for the project.

“We appreciate the support we’ve seen from the federal government and from our friends at 4 Wing,” Copeland adds. “With different levels of government and a number of government departments involved, it’s a complex project, but we are making headway and we are anticipating some big announcements in 2018.”

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