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This article was published in the 2018 Southport Magazine (Vol 3 Issue1). 

Click here to view a copy of Reaching New Heights Vol 3 Issue1 - Magazine FlipBook 

Reading New Heights Vol 2-1





Military Economic Impact at Southport

Visit Southport on a day with clear skies and you’re sure to hear the whir of helicopter blades or the muted roar of an engine overhead. That’s because Southport Airport is the home of 3 Canadian Forces Flying Training School (3CFFTS), the primary training school for most Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) pilots.

It’s estimated that 80% of all RCAF pilots have trained here at one point or another, making Southport a crucial piece of the RCAF training program.

Although the majority of the activity on Southport Airport is training-related, Southport is not a military base. Southport was formed after the closure of Canadian Forces Base Portage la Prairie in 1992. The military flight training that takes place on site is through a private contract with KF Aerospace, the training provider.

As the key tenant, military flight traiing (MFT) services are a significant part of the business at Southport. However, military flight training related services remain a significant part of the business. Military flight training and its related services have a considerable presence on site, fully utilizing six buildings in addition to the airport.

In addition to physical presence, the combined services that Southport provides for the Military Flight Training (MFT) contract also contribute a significant portion of Southport’s overall economic impact. This is according to the Economic Impact Study released by Southport in 2017, which also highlights how the impact flows out to affect Portage la Prairie and the region.

Military or military support occupations make up more than half of the jobs onsite with a total of 350. The MFT contract also creates $22 million in wages, $48 million in GDP and $70 million in direct output to the region. With these staggering numbers, it’s easy to see the significance of military flight training as a vital part of Southport and the Portage la Prairie area.

Diagram Source: Southport 2016 Economic Impact Study