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Fort McMurray Airport

Fort McMurray Airport
Airport information
Airport typePublic
OperatorRegional Municipality of Wood Buffalo
ServesFort McMurray, Alberta
LocationFort McMurray, Alberta
Elevation369 m (1211 ft)
Aircraft movements61026

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Fort McMurray Airport is located 7 NM southeast of Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada. It has seen a rise in business over the last 10 years due to an economic boom in the Athabasca Oil Sands, which are north of Fort McMurray. Now the fifth largest city in Alberta, the population of Fort McMurray has grown at 8.5% per year from 1999 to 2006, to 64,441. Official forecasts indicate that the city will reach a population of 100,000 by 2012. The majority of the rise in population comes from migrant workers, and the city's remoteness means air travel is used frequently.

The airport is planning an expansion as it is seeing 660,000 passengers and more than 60,000 takeoffs and landings a year, which is eight times the traffic it was designed to handle. The expansion plan includes a new terminal south of the current runway, and the possibility of a second runway, along with more gates and stores, tripling its current size.

The airport was the 31st busiest in Canada and the busiest without air traffic control in 2007, having only a Flight Service Station and the 17th busiest by passengers. That year the airport handled 68,924 aircraft movements. As of September 2008, given continued air growth at the airport, NAV CANADA, the country's provider of air traffic services, opened an air traffic control tower for limited hours during the day. As of May 7, 2009, the control hours will be expanded to the final service configuration, which will meet the demand of the airport. In the five years between 2002 and 2007 the airport was one of the fastest growing in Canada. The number of movements increased 72.8% from 39,890 to 68,924, and the passengers 185.3% from 195,822 to 558,770.

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