September 4, 2007
Alberta oil sands companies builds private airstrip to transport workers
A consortium of Alberta oilsands companies have bought into building a private airstrip to fly workers to and from their jobsites.
Synenco Energy Inc., on behalf of the Northern Lights Partnership (NLP), announced that it has signed a joint venture agreement to become a participant in the Fort MacKay/Firebag Aerodrome, a private, full-service airport under construction about 30 km southeast of NLP’s proposed oil sands mine site in northeastern Alberta.
The Fort MacKay/Firebag Aerodrome joint venture consists of Suncor Energy, Husky Energy and NLP.
The aerodrome is scheduled to be operational by the end of the 2007 calendar year. It will feature a lighted runway 6,900 feet in length with instrument landing capability, a terminal building, and a maintenance and emergency services building. The facility has been designed to simultaneously accommodate the loading and unloading of two 737-800 aircraft.
The location of the Northern Lights project and its distance from Fort McMurray means the project will use a fly-in, fly-out transportation model for its personnel.
“The aerodrome is the most effective and cost-efficient way for Northern Lights to meet the commuting needs of its people,” said Steve Gilliland, Executive Vice President, Operations.
“And, using the aerodrome will reduce the impacts of our project on the roads and related infrastructure of the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo.
“We believe that participating in the joint venture reduces execution risk for the Northern Lights project and enhances long-term value, whatever the results are of Synenco’s strategic options review process,” said Gilliland.
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