Annapolis Valley Flying Association

General Aviation for the Annapolis Valley – COPA Flight 147

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 International Jumping Champs call Waterville Airport “Home”

Skydivers are being told to pack up their chutes and hit the road.
April 23, 2014
WATERVILLE, NS – Cole Harbour is not the only community in Nova Scotia turning out high profile athletes these days. There’s a new breeding ground for champions in Nova Scotia and it can be found at the Kings County Municipal Airport in Waterville, Nova Scotia.

One of Canada’s pioneers in wing suit flying and a teacher of the art to others is Ralph Armstrong. Ralph is based out of the Atlantic Skydiving School at the Waterville Airport, and in 2011, Ralph and his team became the world record holder for largest wing suit formation in a skydive.

And speaking of record holders, a national women’s record holder for skydiving in the category of largest, all-female group formation is none other than Valley-based Lynda Sellon.

World-class freefly instructor, Rob Heron, is an internationally known wing suit base jumper and has been featured on many international extreme sports show and can even be found on a German beer commercial – http://thinkbigmedia.de/warsteiner-with-rob-heron/?fb_action_ids=10202079580054492&fb_action_types=og.likes

Brittany Bell got her start at the Kings County Municipal Airport and is now one of the few female Tandem Masters in the world. She is currently living in the UAE and working at one of the world’s most popular skydiving schools, Skydive Dubai.

Peter Kozak is a member of Team Canada’s Canopy Piloting team. He competes internationally at a world-class level. Andrew Pertus, a skydiver from Halifax who started diving in Watervile, is currently serving in the Canadian Forces and was part of the CF skydiving team, the SkyHawks.

These people and countless others have been able to realize their dreams of flight and world travel because of the Waterville Airport and the Atlantic School of Skydiving. Skydiving is a sport rich in memories and friendships, not in hard cash dollars. While it might appear skydivers are daredevils, they take safety very seriously. Skydiving attracts people of all ages wishing to accept the challenge to experience something different or make skydiving part of a healthy active lifestyle. Without the airport at its current location, skydiving in Nova Scotia runs a risk of ceasing to exist.

—— Then where will the next wave of professionals come from ——

 Article about Kings County Municipal Airport focus of International Aviation Publication

Local aviation enthusiast authors piece for Experimental Aviation Association
April 16, 2014
WATERVILLE, NS – Larry Bogan is all aglow these days. An aviation enthusiast and aircraft hobbyist with an aircraft based at the Kings County Municipal Airport, Bogan recently submitted a piece of writing to the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) newsletter about the decision made by Municipality of Kings to close the local airport.

“If the municipal councillors are not going to listen to us, we need to explore other avenues to have our voices heard,” exclaims Bogan. “Publishing an article in the EAA magazine was my way of attracting attention to the airport and to interested pilots who might have some insight into our situation. Maybe others have gone through this battle and can offer us some help.”

Municipality of Kings decided in a March in-camera session to close the airport at its current location effective September 30, 2014. This decision will force the closure and/or displacement of pilots, aircraft, hangars and businesses (including Greenwood Flight Centre, Greenwood Aircraft Maintenance, and the Atlantic Skydiving School) – all left without a home. Though alternatives have been proposed, to this date there has been no concrete decision made that would give airport users a new place to settle. The Municipality has not taken any action in order to provide a new location of the airport as was proposed in an earlier study.

In accordance with the taxpayer funded study performed by CBCL Limited in 2013, Kings County Municipal Airport has been responsible for approximately $17.025 million in personal and non-aviation related investment in the county. It ranks 22 out of 186 of uncontrolled airports in the country in terms of takeoffs and landings, placing it amongst the top 12% of Canadian airports. The study also notes that the costs for operating the airport are “modest by the standards of other uncontrolled airports in Canada.” 

The users of the airport are not giving up without a fight. The Annapolis Valley Flying Association has formed a taskforce which is operating under the banner “SAVE OUR AIRPORT”. Several upcoming events have been planned to entice public support for the need for and financial benefit of an airport in the Annapolis Valley.

The above-mentioned article can be found at:

http://www.eaa.org/bitsandpieces/articles/2014-04_imaginaryindustrial-expansion.asp
The Annapolis Valley Flying Association can be found at: http://www.avfa.ca.

Introducing Aviation to the young people of the Annapolis Valley. A Contest April 15 through May 15, 2014. More details on the Introductory Page (pdf)

Contest Poster

A pdf version of this poster is here.

 Free PDF Reader (32 Mb)

(documents updated 24 Apr 2014)

 Peter Rouleau mentioned this as a possiblity and Art Patton created this image of the airport with a modified runway using Google Earth.

Waterville Airport with drawing of an alternate runway leaving room for an expansion north by the Michelin tire plant.

The attached photo is my playing with Google Earth. IF Michelin were to expand only the main building 250 feet north then at the eastern end of that building moving the center line of the runway 250 ft. north would result in the longest red line shown. the next lines out in each direction represent the runway strip and the next lines out each side are where up to 30 ft. high trees/buildings, whatever would not enter the 20% slope transition zone. It would take some work, fill etc. but could be done cheaper than building a new airport. All hangars etc could remain and only minor taxiway adjustments would be needed. Again this is very rough but suggests a possibility.

Art Patton

Event: 10 March -The Kings County Council had voted to close the Waterville Airport on 30 Sept 2014
See – Closure Announcement here

The AVFA met on the 16th of March in Waterville to discuss what to do as a result of the Kings County Council’s decision to close the Waterville Airport next September. There were about 40 aviators and friends present.  A taskforce was established to plan for the future, whether by trying to get an extension of the closing date, by planning for a new airport for the region or other solution. The taskforce plans to work on these and more. See the Taskforce Pages in the menu above for more details.  If you are interesting in helping in the process, please fill in a form on the Taskforce Page and send it to Christoph Both

 On Monday, March 10, 2014, the Kings County Municipal Council met in a closed meeting and then voted to close the Waterville (Kings County Airport). No reasons have been given for the closing other than to say it will make way for a ‘possible’ expansion of the Michelin Tire Plant.  The council seems to keep saying Michelin will use the land but Michelin has said publically that it has no plans to expand the Waterville plant.


The following is from http://www.kingscountynews.ca/

Waterville airport to close

County council voted 10-1 in favour of closing the municipal airport in Waterville during a special meeting held tonight.

The closure will take effect Sept. 30. The county has pledged to undertake a business case for a new airport.

Councillor Patricia Bishop told council she would not support the closure due to the process it took to reach the decision.


For an excellent report of the process behind this decision see Councilor Pauline Raven’s Blog   Behind Closed Doors 2


The Airport is a valuable part of the county infrastructure and has been been in operation off and on since World War II. Kings County took over the airport in 1975 with funds from the federal government.  It’s operations were improved with a grant from the federal government to extend the taxiway a few years ago. The Greenwood Flight School moved here and operates an active business training and repairing aircraft. Many aircraft owners have invested in the airport by building hangers at the airport. There is no other civil airport with a paved runway between Debert and Digby.  There is concern that their investment will now cost them money. See Hanger Owners want help with Airport Move.

All of this will be lost with this decision by the council. 

To replace (move) the airport will be a very expensive business. 

  • Land will have to be purchased
  • The land will have to be cleared and leveled
  • Runways and buildings will have to be built
  • Businesses and users will have to be attracted to the new location

The study that was recently done on the airport suggests a cost on the order of 10 million dollars.  The County does not have that money and will have to get it from other sources.  In reality, it is likely that the Kings County will have no airport any time soon.