Presentation on theme: "The airport runway is the most important main street in any town."— Presentation transcript:
1The airport runway is the most important main street in any town. - Norm Crabtree, former aviation director of Ohio
2Almaguin Highlands Air Park “the winds are calm, ceiling is unlimited…..Opportunity…You are cleared for take-off!”Prepared by: Jason Ready 2013
3Almaguin Highlands Air Park BackgroundIn the early 1930’s our national economy had yet to recover from the stock-market crash of the late 1920’s. Faced with record unemployment, several “make work projects” were commissioned by the federal and provincial governments. Some of these projects included the creation of a Canada wide network of airfields to serve the route system of a fledgling Trans-Canada Airways (the forerunner to what we now know as Air Canada).
4Almaguin Highlands Air Park BackgroundThe property in Joly Township where the airport now exists was identified as a prime location for one of these reliever airports.A work gang of local men were hired and used horse drawn slush-scrapers (similar to the ones shown in this picture) to carve out two runways from what was at the time crown land.
5Almaguin Highlands Air Park BackgroundThe airport immediately saw the arrival of bushplanes that used the airport as a stop-over on their way north to the gold and silver mining and exploration camps of northern Ontario.
6Almaguin Highlands Air Park BackgroundIn May of 1934, this part of Ontario was thrust into the international spotlight with the birth of the Dionne Quintuplets in nearby Corbeil. The airfield at North Bay was still being built, therefore the airport at South River became the closest airport available to print and radio media outlets.Aircraft from all over North America, like this Waco cabin bi-plane from the New York Daily News were regular visitors, with reporters in tow.
7Almaguin Highlands Air Park BackgroundFamed aviatrix Amelia Earhart was one of the many celebrities of the era that visited the Dionne Quintuplets. There is even some unconfirmed speculation that she and her husband landed at Almaguin for their visit (North Bay airport didn’t exist yet). This was mere weeks before she tragically disappeared over the Pacific Ocean.
8Almaguin Highlands Air Park BackgroundWith the advent of the second world war, the airport had more military value. (There was some training done here and it retained its value as an emergency landing field.)After WWII, the airport remained dormant for quite a while. The military continued to use it periodically from year to year.
9Almaguin Highlands Air Park BackgroundLater, according to federal government policies, it was turned over to the province of Ontario. It fell under the jurisdiction of the Department of Lands and Forests (now the MNR). The ministry was considering replanting trees on the airport property when local opposition put a halt to the project. Local municipalities were then asked if they would be interested in re-developing the airport. A lease agreement was negotiated, allowing the airport to be owned by the Village of South River.The MNR to this day maintains control of the surroundingproperty not occupied by the aircraft maneuvering areas(runways, taxiways and airport buildings).
10Almaguin Highlands Air Park BackgroundDuring subsequent years, the Village of South River entered into an agreement with the Village of Sundridge and the Townships of Machar, Strong and Joly and this partnership ran the airport through municipal committee. The Village of South River maintained administrative responsibilities on behalf of the partnership.
11Almaguin Highlands Air Park In 2010, the airport committee, with grant assistance from FedNor and the NECO Community Futures Development Corporation, contracted world class airport planning consultants LPS-Avia to develop a Master Airport Development Plan.This professionally prepared plan continues to provide managers and stakeholders with a concrete blueprint for short, medium and long term strategic direction. It also recommends industry recognized options for developing the airport.It is the intention of the current stakeholders to pursue the opportunities and direction laid out in the plan. This is being done in order to realize the full value of their investment in obtaining this invaluable airport development expertise.
12Almaguin Highlands Air Park Current StatusIn late 2011, the Village of South River notified the other partnership members of it’s intention to opt-out of it’s ownership interest effective 2012.Early in 2012 the Township of Machar also announcedtheir intention to rescind their ownership interest.Today the the airport is jointly owned by the Village Sundridge and the Townships of Strong and Joly. The administration of the airport is handled by the Township of Joly.
13Almaguin Highlands Air Park Current StatusThe airport was (and continues to be) classified by Transport Canada as a public aerodrome, with designated airport identifier “CPE6” by NavCanada.Since the beginning of it’s history, it has continued to operate and be maintained to the standard of public aerodrome, and owned as anasset of the community.As stated in a previous slide, the surrounding crown land and property remained the jurisdiction of the MNR, as illustrated on the following slides:
18Almaguin Highlands Air Park Current StatusThe airport currently has the following facilities:2 turf (grass) runways with retro-reflective runway markingsfloat plane access to the South River waterway systemvia a graded ramp on the northeast airport boundaryan ad-hoc “terminal building” with meeting / office space, “pilot lounge”, basic flight planning facilities and washroomairport maintenance equipment and indoor storage for sameon site aviation fuel storage and sales5 privately owned hangers
19Almaguin Highlands Air Park Regular UsersSouth River / Sundridge Flying Club (based at the airport)DTR Enterprises (owner of the new hanger, 2 planes)a handful of privately owned aircraft
20Almaguin Highlands Air Park Occasional UsersMNR – spring fish stocking programOPP – highway patrols/enforcementand other criminal investigationsCanadian Owners & Pilots Association(COPA) Flight 23itinerant aircraft (those only stopping for fuel or rest while enrouteto other destinations). We need to give them a reason to stay!!
21Almaguin Highlands Air Park Who else could use our airport??An airport is a “port-in-the-storm” for any aircraft in need of a place to land when the weather deteriorates. This was evidenced by the 2010 tragic crash of a private aircraft in Algonquin Provincial Park. The aircraft was enroute to Sudbury from Kingston, at night, in deteriorating weather when it crashed. Four lives were lost. Our airport, with the appropriate facilities and lighting could have been their “port-in-the-storm”.
22Almaguin Highlands Air Park Who else could use our airport??Medevac flights to take sick and injured members of the community to distant hospitals. The airport was used as a staging area for the emergency response to the incident in Algonquin Provincial Park mentioned in the previous slide.
23Almaguin Highlands Air Park Who else could use our airport??MNR forest fire-fighting aircraft can operate fromand perhaps be based at the airport when they are needed.For the reasons outlined above, community airportfacilities are defined as a major resource by the policy doctrine of Emergency Management Ontario (EMO).
24Almaguin Highlands Air Park Who else could use our airport??Courier operations – for moving mail and packages into and out of the communities, including banking support services.
25Almaguin Highlands Air Park Who else could use our airport??Aircraft bringing business and commerce leadersinto the community.
26Almaguin Highlands Air Park Who else could use our airport??Aircraft bringing tourists and visitors to the community to spend their money. They will visit the local sights, stay in local hotels, eat in local restaurants and thereby greatly contribute to the local tax base through those businesses.
27Almaguin Highlands Air Park Who else could use our airport??Charter operations to carry people and goods in and out of the community.THE LIST IS ENDLESS!!!!!!!
28Almaguin Highlands Air Park VisionIn order to grow and become a regional economic engine, the airport needs to accomplish the following:establish a new airport governance and management structure to foster airport self sufficiencyimprove on current facilities and create new onesattract a broader base of users by joining industryassociations such as AMCO and Chamber of Commercedevelop opportunities for businesses to co-locate at the airportcreate much needed sustainable employment
29Almaguin Highlands Air Park Immediate PlansImproving current facilitiesleverage the Master Airport Development Plan to obtain federal and provincial infrastructure dollars to pave the runway and apron (to meet modern airport standards)dovetail with green energy industry for the installation of low operational cost runway lighting, effectively doubling available runway usage (currently daylight hours only)purchase and installation of “card lock” system for the fuel facility, allowing self-serve access 24-7investigate options for high-speed internet access, required for modern flight planning facilities and marketability of business development
30Almaguin Highlands Air Park Immediate PlansNew opportunities to explore and follow through withan aircraft maintenance facility – there is strong interest currently being shown from two companies looking to locate here, pending development directiona current letter of intent by a “green economy” industry to lease land and build a facility at the airportcurrent letter of intent for a permanent flight school and First Nations training facility to be located on siteredevelopment and expansion of float plane operationsPursue the handover of surrounding land controlledby MNR creating room for future development
31Almaguin Highlands Air Park Immediate PlansAttract a broader base of usersmarketing campaign (print, web, trade magazines)partner with local Bed & Breakfast Association to promote airport’s role in Almaguin area tourism (already started with links on new airport website)attract users through “flight events” throughout the year in partnership with COPA, Almaguin Flying Club, UPACmake the airport “business aviation friendly” via discounted fuel pricing, pilot / crew facilitiesdraw non-traditional users to the airport by making it a place to take the kids and see what’s going on – viewing area, aviation themed restaurant/cafe
32Almaguin Highlands Air Park Long Range Opportunitiescreation of sustainable employmentaviation manufacturing facility (airframe completions, modifications, parts production)links to local school board to establish aviation based course curriculum where classrooms are located at the airport (this could include technical/shop courses, marketing, small business studies – the options are endless!!)Establishment of a permanent aviation trade schoolBecome a top airshow destination – huge tourism draw
33Almaguin Highlands Air Park Important Points to Rememberan airport is much more than just a place for planes to land and take offwith the four-laning of Highway 11 now complete, this region is even more open to prime investmentbrand new airports are too expensive to build –we are in a great position…. we already have one!!the airport is a valuable resource we can’t afford to loseplanned improvements will create sustainable employment now and in the futureMore importantly……..
34A mile of highway takes you a mile... ...a mile of runway takes you to the world!!- Canadian Owners and Pilots Association