Environment Minister Dustin Duncan officially opened a more modern and expanded hangar facility in La Ronge today to better support Saskatchewan’s fleet of firefighting aircraft. The four-year, nearly $14 million project is part of a renewal initiative to enhance the province’s aerial firefighting capacity.
The expanded hangar is about 40 per cent larger, with a resurfaced floor, office and training centre, new equipment including an overhead crane, full foam sprinkler system and a 60,000-gallon water tank for fire suppression and domestic water use. Also included in the project were larger, bottom-roller hangar doors, plus upgrades to the hangar and tanker base aprons.
These improvements will allow large aircraft to access the hangar more easily, improving safety and adding many years of longevity to the existing facilities.
Fleet renewal will continue with the purchase of an additional CL215T water-scooping air tanker, announced in March 2019.
The $38 million aircraft will replace Saskatchewan’s last piston engine tanker and is expected to join the fleet in time for the 2023 wildfire season.