Community Capital Grant Put to Work

October 20, 2020

YMM Completes Major Runway Rehabilitation Project

Fort McMurray, AB – Today the Fort McMurray International Airport – YMM and representatives from the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB) celebrated the completion of the Runway Rehabilitation project. This major construction project included a complete re-surfacing of the runway, installation of a new approach lighting system to enhance landing reliability in poor conditions, and construction of a newly required Runway End Safety Area (RESA) to reduce the risk of aircraft damage in the event of an incident.

“For YMM, completing this project demonstrates that we are forging ahead on our vision and strategic priorities,” said Mike Chwelos, Board Chair, Fort McMurray Airport Authority. “ These safety and reliability enhancements build confidence in YMM’s air service performance for years to come”

Air connectivity is critical for economic development, and will be even more important for economic recovery efforts. Air transport increases opportunities for capital investment, tourism, cargo, hotel occupancy and retail, and contributes to a healthy cycle of economic development.

“The new runway represents our window into the future,” said RJ Steenstra, President and CEO Fort McMurray Airport Authority. “Air transport creates stronger linkages between communities and economies across Canada and the world and contributes to economic prosperity, generating numerous socio-economic benefits and spin-offs. We have a long way to go in our recovery efforts, but we are eager to move forward with our partners and see the community through its recovery journey.”

In 2019, Council approved funding for the project through the RMWB’s Community Investment Program. The Runway Rehabilitation project met a number of strategic investment criteria including responsible government (emergency response and safety), economic development and Indigenous and rural communities.

“This was the right capital investment at the right time,” said Mayor Don Scott, Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo. “The airport is a critically important asset for our community and the new runway will ensure that it continues to support economic development and recovery by facilitating growth opportunities and welcoming more individuals and families to our region.”

Following a competitive tender process, YMM awarded the general contract to E-Construction’s Fort McMurray Division. For just under 12 months, the project team worked diligently to ensure their work did not impede on flights landing and departing. Runway paving took place through the night, after the last flight departed, and before the first flight landed the next morning to eliminate impacts to air service.

“We are incredibly proud to have been part of this project,” said Dean Morrow, North Division Manager, E-Construction. “Our company has operated in the region for more than 50 years, and like many local businesses the airport has been an important connector for our employees and our business activities. I know I am not alone when I say, this asset will be even more important for the business community as we push forward on recovery.”


Our mandate is to manage the airport safely, securely, and efficiently, advancing economic and community development for the general benefit of the public in the region.


Northern Alberta’s Airport of Choice

Fly Healthy. Fly Safe. Fly YMM.

Media Contact