Lethbridge faces many challenges in regards to its airport. At one time, when governments owned and operated airports, and regulated air service levels, a small city could count on being served under all circumstances. In the deregulated world however, lower prices tend to prevail. This also means carriers must pay very close attention to their revenues and expenses while the same hold true for the airports they fly into.

Much has been made of the availability of cheap flights from Great Falls and the frequency of flights from Calgary. Previous attempts to attract new services to Lethbridge have not been successful. The response has been numerous expensive studies commissioned by the Airports Committee which, by and large, have been gathering dust as unimplemented recommendations.

Arguably, Lethbridge County, who manages the airport, and the City are unable or reluctant to invest the funds necessary before needed improvements can be made to Lethbridge Airport. Funding, is only one of the barriers to making improvements. Most other airports across Southern Alberta and Northern Montana have a proper governance model. The Canadian Airports Council, the main body to which many of Lethbridge Airport’s peers belong, advocates for an Independent Airport Authority to oversee operations.

The speaker will argue that if the airport becomes a self-funded entity with powers to borrow, set fees and planning for improvements, Lethbridge Airport will be liberated to focus on the needs of people and airport operation rather than power struggles among local governmental entities.

Speaker: Dale Leier Dale Leier is a Lethbridge-born business person with interests in a range of projects, including sustainable cleaning products, shellfish hatchery, renewable energy and regional business development. In addition to a successful career as an Air Traffic Controller, Dale is a Domino’s Pizza Franchisee award winner, an Investor’s Group Financial Planner, mobile app developer and inventor. For the sheer experience, he ran as the Libertarian Party candidate in the 2008 Federal Election for Saanich-Gulf Islands.

Moderator: Austin Fennell

Date: Thursday, February 9, 2017 Time: Noon - 1:30 PM (30 minutes each for presentation, lunch and Q & A)
Location: Country Kitchen Catering (Lower level of The Keg) 1715 Mayor Magrath Dr. S
Cost: $12.00 (includes lunch) or $2.00 (includes coffee/tea)

Visit the SACPA website: http://www.sacpa.ca

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