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Grace Lake Airport and its future

Grace Lake Airport July 11, 2017 during my visit

When I was in The Pas two weeks ago, I was able to visit the Grace Lake Airport.  This is the airport that the Conservative government said they wanted to close.  However, this is an important airport which is very close to the community of The Pas and there are considerable reasons for it to stay open.

1) It is the hub airport for Missinippi Air, an important northern airline which provides air services in the north including medical flights going to and from The Pas. 

2)  A reason for closing the Grace Lake Airport was that the cost of operations have been more than the revenue generated so that the province has covered these extra costs in recent years.   Missinippi Air is now providing dollars to cover the extra cost of operating Grace Lake Airport above the existing revenue generated and so this is no longer a reason to close Grace Lake Airport. 

3) The Town of The Pas does have another airport which it operates at Clearwater Lake.   But this airport is much further from The Pas and there are considerable extra costs in paramedic services for transporting people to and from The Clearwater Lake airport.  A taxi ride to the Clearwater Lake airport costs $80 for example, while a taxi ride to the Grace Lake airport is much cheaper.


Though opinion is divided, from my discussions with many people in The Pas, it appears to me that with the operating costs now being fully covered because of the action of Missinippi Air there is no reason to close Grace Lake Airport, and every reason to keep it open so that people in The Pas and the adjacent Opaskwayak Cree Nation can be served well.  

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