Cold Lake is a city in northeastern Alberta, Canada, named after the lake it is situated near. The city is situated within Alberta's "Lakeland" area, three hundred km northeast of Edmonton, near the Alberta-Saskatchewan provincial border. The area surrounding the city is sparsely populated, and consists mostly of farmland. The Cold Lake Air Weapons Range, located to the north of the city, is the Canadian equivalent to the US Air Force's Nellis Air Force Range.
The city of Cold Lake was first recorded on a 1790 map, by the name of Coldwater Lake. Initially three communities, the city of Cold Lake was formed by combining the Town of Cold Lake, the Town of Grand Centre, and Medley (Canadian Forces Base 4 Wing) on the 1st of October, the year 1996. Grand Centre was renamed Cold Lake South, and the original Cold Lake is known to Cold Lake North. Because of its origins, the area is also called the Tri-Town.
The economy of the city is inextricably linked to military spending at CFB Cold Lake. The area likewise supports oil and gas exploration and production. The Athabasca Oil Sands project in Fort McMurray is having a growing influence in the region too. The Cold Lake oil sands could become an essential contributor to the economy of Cold Lake.
Cold Lake holds an annual event for military forces from all-around the world known as Exercise Maple Flag. It is a training exercise where NATO pilots and support staff could use the Air Weapons Range and relatively open rural air space. Running from 4 to 6 weeks and beginning in May of each and every year, commercial accommodations in the entire area are left with little to no vacancy. This yearly exercise contributes a considerable amount of capital into these industries and various hospitality-related industries.
Canadian Forces Base Cold Lake, commonly referred to as CFB Cold Lake, is a Canadian Forces Base situated within the City of Cold Lake, Alberta. It is operated as an air force base by the Royal Canadian Air Force and is one of two bases in Canada making use of the CF-18 Hornet fighter/interceptor. Its main lodger unit is 4 Wing.
Civilian passenger service was available through the Medley passenger terminal on the periphery of the air base. The regularly scheduled air service between Calgary and the civilian terminal was canceled in the month of June the year 2011. Civilian air traffic which is unscheduled is normally directed to the Cold Lake Regional Airport. The facility is named Cold Lake/Group Captain R.W. McNair Airport. It is among just three military aerodromes within the nation to be named after an individual, Valcartier Heliport and Moose Jaw/Air Vice Marshal C.M. McEwen Airport being the others.