The Kenora Airport has entered the final phase of its runway rehabilitation project, closing it down for the remainder of the month – but Ontario says plans are in place in case of an emergency.

Earlier this summer, the Kenora Airport Authority announced runway and construction work that would impact flights, including a shortened runway until September 10 and a closure until September 30.

Now, Kenora-Rainy River MPP Greg Rickford explains that due to the closure, a number of partnerships have been established to make sure residents are safe in a number of emergency situations – as the community is now without access to air travel.

“There are contingencies that have to be in place,” said Rickford, in an interview with the Q Morning Show.

Rickford explains Ontario’s worked with the Lake of the Woods District Hospital, Dryden Regional Health Centre, the Dryden Regional Airport, Ornge and health partners in Manitoba to advise them of Kenora’s situation and to keep them on stand-by if help is needed.

“There are situations that could arise and we want to make sure that we have those [plans] in place. And make sure the airport is in top shape,” adds Rickford.

The Minister responsible for Northern Development in Ontario notes that through his work as a federal MP and provincial MPP, he’s helped to secure multiple funding partnerships for Kenora’s Airport.

“We really want to make sure that the Kenora Airport offers all of the things that a modern-day, destination city can offer,” adds Rickford.

The airport also received $509,886 in funding through FedNor in March 2022 to implement new modernization features and to purchase new equipment.

The airport apologizes for the inconvenience during the closure until September 30, but staff say it’s necessary as they work to update and enhance their infrastructure and operations.

Staff add a mask is still mandatory when entering the terminal, according to Transport Canada’s and their own policies.