Muskoka To-DAILY

Local pilots happy district taking politics out of airport, landing management in hands of aviation experts

Mark Clairmont | MuskokaTODAILY.com

MUSKOKA — Local airport pilots, renters and aviation experts are applauding the district’s plans for non-partisan board to manage the Muskoka Airport,  move they’ve been demanding for decades.

A couple of special planes, including this sleek Piper, were part of a static display at the Muskoka Airport event.

Aviation fans are happy that operation of the Muskoka Airport will by March 2018 return to where it properly belongs, in hands of pilots and airplane expert.

At the district’s planning and economic development committee (PED) meeting on Thursday, which oversees the airport and runs the airport in Gravenhurst, members tabled the resolution.

“The discussion and resolution is exactly what Muskoka Airport needs,” says Earle Robinson, president of the Muskoka Flying Club.

Getting the airport planning and strategic thinking out of the hands of council and staff, and into the hands of people who have the right blend of skills to do it well is a long overdue decision, he says.

“In my view, this will be a very big boast to airport growth and will actually start tapping the untouched economic benefits of the airport for all of Muskoka. Hopefully some of the board members will also have pilot’s licences since they need these skills as well for crosswind and airspace issues, to name a couple.”

He said the timing for governance change couldn’t be better, considering the efforts of Explorer’s Edge (RTO-12) to initiate scheduled flights to and from Muskoka Airport in the near future. This should also free up some FedNor and other funding for important airport infrastructure development.”

The district expect to have this new airport governance board in place by March.

District CAO Michael Duben reportedly wants to take the politics out of the decision-making.

Lake of Bays is not a big supporter of the airport, which it feels does little for the township, even though Bigwin Inn resort could benefit from large-scale Muskoka tourism efforts.

Only big issues like economic and budget plans will be brought to council directly a few times a year, said Duben.
The board is expected to be made up of seven members. The District Council Chair John Klinck as district representative.

The other six position would be made up of members with various types of professional experience, says the recommendation, including people with airport management, legal and business experience.

A final report at it’s September meeting should complete the planning progress and commence the search for board members.

They expect to have everyone in place by January and a first meeting in March.

A couple of special planes, including this sleek Piper, were part of a static display at the Muskoka Airport event.

Aviation fans are happy that operation of the Muskoka Airport may soon return to where they it properly belongs, in the hands of pilots and airplane experts.

Short URL: http://www.muskokatodaily.com/?p=28530

Posted by on Aug 27 2017. Filed under Headlines. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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