A “world-class” airport needs more than a single access point, according to the Wildrose Alliance, which is throwing its support behind the Calgary airport tunnel project.

Leader Danielle Smith called the impending closure of Barlow Trail a “key issue” in the city’s mayoral race and joined Ward 3 Ald. Jim Stevenson in calling on the provincial government for financial support to move ahead with an airport tunnel.

“This is an issue the upcoming council will have to deal with, and they need to have assurance the province is willing to talk,” Smith told a news conference.

“We’re going to have a world-class airport, but we need to make sure people can get there.”

However, outside the conference, mayoral candidate and Ward 4 Ald. Bob Hawkesworth had harsh words for those who support the tunnel.

“I think every last one of them should cut their losses, sign the online petition at noairporttunnel.ca and get onto something else,” Hawkesworth said.

“The longer they dwell on this issue ... the more they are looking dumb. They don’t know what they are talking about and aren’t addressing the real priorities Calgarians have.”