Mayor Murray Wright has been invited to meet with the Town of Moosomin Council to discuss plans for upgrading of the Virden Regional Airport. Wright recently wrote to the town seeking their support for work deemed necessary to bring the local facility in line with new Transport Canada regulations and enhance the ability of medical aircraft to access it.
“We are letting them know what we are doing with our airport…the changes that we are going to try to put in place within the next five years,” he said. “It will make it easier for the life jets from Winnipeg and STARS air ambulance. We don’t want to lose these people, and right now the way our airport is set up, if they come down and they can’t see the runway at 500 feet they go to Brandon.”
Wright explained that there have been two instances within the last six months where the provincial air ambulance service could not land in Virden due to poor visibility. “We’re trying to change that and we’re looking for support from all the municipalities,” he said. “We’re looking for assistance both financially and support in general because it is all going to benefit them as well.”
He said the upgrading, which will be phased in and cost an estimated $5 million, is critical to ensure the area continues to be served in the event of an emergency and the long-term viability of the airport is not put at risk. “If we don’t do anything, then we’ll become an airport that only the local people and local pilots will fly into.”
The scope of the work includes the relocation of existing infrastructure such as hangars and the fueling station, as well as enhancement of the taxiway and runway.
“We’re just getting the ball rolling, and we’ve got some people in place that are going to help us get it all put together. There’s a lot involved in it but we’re trying to make it better for future years and for the community.”