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City council approves backup generator for airport

City council is moving to enhance the safety at the Lloydminster’s airport. The airport will soon be getting a backup generator to help keep it running during a power failure, at the cost of $200,000 plus GST.

Currently, the airport doesn’t have a backup power source to keep the lights on in case of a power outage. An electrical failure would mean that fuel wouldn’t be available for an aircraft, and the runway would be inoperable without lights during dark hours. This hazard risk was originally documented by management in 2014.

Out of six proposals for the contract, Finning Canada scored with the best scores between price and technical requirements. Mayor Gerald Aalbers is happy to see the project begin. It was noted by Councillor Aaron Buckingham that safety enhancement may be noticed by aircraft carriers, which Aalbers agrees may make the Border City a more attractive stop.

“Any enhancement we make to our airport will be noted by the carriers, certainly by Westjet and others,” said Aalbers. “Because when you come to service a community, you want to provide service [for them] and one of the services they’re looking for is for the airport authority, in our case the city, to ensure that the airport is adequately supplied with all the infrastructure. In this case, a backup generator is pretty key.”

The city recognizes that the lack of a generator is a deficiency for the airport, and is working to resolve the issue. $300,000 was allocated for the airport in the 2019 airport budget. Aalbers admits that there should have been one by now, and affirms that city council takes the issue seriously. He can’t speak for previous administrations but is happy to see it come to pass.

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“We’re very excited to see it move forward,” said Aalbers. The backup generator adds further value to the airport to serve as an evacuation centre in the case of a long-term, city-wide power outage.

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