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Region buys land for airport expansion, but in no rush to expand just yet

The 200 acre plot cost $5.1 million and will be used to lengthen one of its runways
Region of Waterloo International Airport
Region of Waterloo International Airport. Blair Adams/KitchenerToday

Waterloo Region is now in possession of land that will allow the airport to expand.

The 200 acre plot cost $5.1 million and will be used to lengthen one of its runways. 

A longer crosswind runway is needed to facilitate larger aircraft during landings. 

The region is now in a chicken and egg situation where they need a longer runway to attract the airlines, but they won't do the construction until they have a commitment from a large airline. 

Rod Regier is the Commissioner of Planning, Development and Legislative Services with the Region, he says it's better to own the land before it's needed.

"If we had the business and we need the land quickly to expand the runway then timing could be difficult, land is a long term investment, acquiring land that's strategic to the long term development that's strategic to the airport is an important thing to do when you have an opportunity." said Regier. 

According to Regier, the Region is in frequent talks with several airlines including a few ultra-low budget companies. 

Regier says the airport remains a high priority for the Region and its transportation strategy. 

Pearson International Airport in Toronto is expected to hit its capacity in the next 10-15 years. 

When that happens, it's anticipated the overflow will go to regional airports like those in Waterloo Region and Hamilton.

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