The Red Deer Airport was built during World War II with the purpose to train Allied forces as part of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP) and was known as #36 SFTS (Service Flight Training School). When it re-opened in 1950 it was known as #4 FTS (Flying Training School) and was part of NATO training during the Cold War and eventually became CFB Penhold (Canadian Forces Base).
The City of Red Deer took over operation of the airport in 1965 and the Province extended the main runway 16/34 to 5,528 feet in 1980. The ownership of the airport was taken over on September 1, 1999 by the Red Deer Regional Airport Authority (RDRAA), which includes the The City of Red Deer and Red Deer County as stakeholders.
The RDRAA assumed ownership from the Province of Alberta and operation of the airport from The City of Red Deer on September 1, 1999. Where it was previously considered an industrial airport, today the Airport Authority has taken initiatives to attract scheduled airline services and to create a ‘centre of excellence’ for general aviation-related business in the region.
For more detailed information about the history of the airport, please visit www.penholdbase.ca.