Aéroport Montréal Saint-Hubert Longueuil (AMSL) in Canada has opened its primary runway after completion of a major upgrade to accommodate larger aircraft, including the Boeing 737 and Airbus A220/320.

The runway was reconstructed according to Transport Canada standards with an investment of $17m, which included over $13m provided by the Canadian Government Airports Capital Assistance Program (ACAP).

According to the airport, the improvement marks the start of a development strategy that will see Aéroport Montréal Saint-Hubert Longueuil become a regional air transport hub in Quebec.

The airport is expected to get support of the Quebec government through its Fonds d’appui au rayonnement des régions (regional support fund, or FARR) to prepare a master plan that will include a framework for an airport terminal and the creation of an associated project office.

“We have invested close to $15m to upgrade the Route de l’Aéroport and streamline access to facilities in the airport zone.”

Expected to be published next year, the master plan will also define how best to develop the facility to position the airport as efficient and affordable, and attract airlines such as low cost carriers.

AMSL board of directors chairman Charles Vaillancourt said: “Our aim is to make Aéroport Montréal Saint-Hubert Longueuil the airport of choice for regional travellers who are flying into and out of Montreal.

“We also want to establish air transport services for a range of destinations to benefit South Shore and Montérégie residents and business people, while working in tandem with the other airports in the Greater Montreal Region. Because of its proximity to major roadways, rail services and public transit, our airport is ideally aligned with Longueuil’s Vision 2025 for Public Transit.”

Longueuil Mayor Sylvie Parent said: “Because Aéroport Montréal Saint-Hubert Longueuil is a key driver of economic development, we have invested close to $15m to upgrade the Route de l’Aéroport and streamline access to facilities in the airport zone. We are particularly proud of its growth, which will enable it to better serve citizens, businesses and industries in the region.”

Located 15 minutes from downtown Montreal, Aéroport Montréal Saint-Hubert Longueuil has three runways, a control tower and an array of services. Since September 2004, non-profit agency the Développement Aéroport Saint-Hubert Longueuil has been operating and managing the airport.