It is past the deadline date of 22nd August and there is no news from the Municipality of Kings with respect to the counter proposal. The following is a link to an article on the proposal.
Letter to the Editor – Chronicle Herald – 7 August 2014
Interview by Rick Howe of News 95.7 fm of Ian Patrick on the Airport Closure
On 26th July the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) of the King County Council, Mr. MacEwan, posted a disertata and proposals (22 pages) called ‘Airport Relocation Stategy’ for the council to consider. You can read it at – Click Here for direct link
On the 29th of July In a four hour session, discussion among the Municipality of Kings councillors, several pointed out defects in the proposal, including abandonment of established processes and attempts to stiffle democratic rights. The proposal was presented only two days before the session and the public has not been included in the discussions. All the arguments fell on deaf ears with respect to six of the councillors who had already made up their minds. The porposal was passed in a six for and five against vote.
Only after the vote was the public at the meeting allowed offer their input to the proposal. The majority of which was condemnation of the process and the action taken that night and in previous council meetings about the airport.
Basically, the ‘Strategy’ says
- The Council reaffirms that Waterville Airport is closing
- Disengages the MOK for any new airport facility
- MOK only supports negotiate to relocate the airport to 14 Wing Greenwood
- Delay closing of Waterville Airport to 2015 only if aviators take over the relocation. to Greenwood
- The Airport Relocation Committeee is dissolved.
The CAO in his presentation before the discussion and vote, admitted that there is a flaw in the ‘Strategy’ in that the negotiation with CFB Greenwood may not be able to be concluded. In that case, he allowed that ‘he’ would reconsider the possiblity of a different solution to the relocation of the airport.
It should be noted that on the original vote to close the Waterville airport, 10 of the 11 councillors voted for closure. In this vote only six of the 11 voted for the motion that reaffirmed closure.
Soon you will see these signs around Kings County to urge residents to contact their councilors to urge then to preserve avaiation in the region by not closing the Waterville airport. We have ordered 50 signs that will be available soon.
Below is a copy of the informational pamphlet that will be used to inform the public of the closure of the airport. Click on the image to download a pdf version that can be printed.
This was presented at the last meeting but there was no time to discuss it. Comments for changes or corrects are welcomed. If you find it useful and wish to post it, print it out. If there is enough interest, we can have a bunch printed commercially and distributed. Click on the image to get the pdf full size image. (Larry)
On the Main AVFA page you will see a small count down in the upper right corner. This timer tells you how many days until October 1, 2015 when the Waterville Airport is scheduled to closed by the council of Municipality of Kings (MOK).
Rush to Get Rid of an Airport
Despite the pleas of the aviation community here and across the country to keep the airport open, the council has refused twice to even consider the simple idea to delay the closure. (twice, in council, a motion was refused to be even considered when put forth by one of the councilors) What is their rush? Michelin has no plans currently to expand their Waterville plant. It was only after CFB Greenwood reported that it IF the Waterville airport were to be granted permission to relocate there, it could not happen by 2014 and maybe not by 2015, that council considered delaying the closing.
Municipal Council’s attack on the Airport
One would think that the municipal council would be working to support and maintain a part of the municipal infrastructure of its county. Instead, they are working to destroy a multi-million dollar asset and leave the community with no civil aviation facility. There are no substitute airport facilities available nor are there plans to replace what will disappear after October 1, 2015.
The value of the airport to the community and to aviation in this region has been documented in many places. The council had, a study panel to consider whether a new airport would be commercially viable, but have eliminated that and washed its hands of providing a replacement for the Waterville Airport. There are no funds available locally, from the province or from the federal government to build a replacement airport. The council thinks that CFB Greenwood will provide the space for a replacement but there is no assurance of that.
What is the viability of betting on the expansion of the Michelin plant?
There is only a chance that Michelin will consider expanding its Waterville plant in competition with other newer, larger and more modern plants in North America. It also depends on the market for Michelin tires and that is not at all certain. Although the council and province had demanded that a new airport be put under economic scrutiny they never looked closely at their own rush to sell the airport property with disregard for the lost of a valuable existing airport.
If the MOK council has firm plans and solid time table for a Michelin expansion, it has kept the secret very well. The question is: why not let the public know. If there are no realistic expansion plans then they should admit it to us and to themselves. They are our representatives, not our rulers.
(modified 6 Nov 2014)
Larry Bogan, Website Manager
One of the proposals for a place to move the Waterville Airport is to a “Kings Airpark” on Saxon Street. This was put forth at a meeting of the Airport Taskforce on 18 May and accepted by 26 members of the AVFA.
The Goals, Plans, Proposal and suggest solutions to problems was put forth in a document: Kings Airpark Proposal Outline (pdf document). There is already a private air strip at the site of the proposal. The release of the proposal was reported in the Advertiser/Register (Airpark Plan Floated…..) . This has been presented to but has not been discussed by the MOK (Municipality of Kings) Council (Airpark …. MOK Warden)
There was a immediate opposition to this proposal from a group of residences living in the area of the proposed airport location.They have organized into a Northeast Kings Citizens Group. This group presented statements in opposition to the development on farmland at the meeting of the Kings County Council on 3rd of June. (Saxon Street Resident … ) The group has a Facebook page called North East Kings Citizens Group
At a meeting of the Airport Taskforce groups on the 7th of June, it was recognized that it is not likely that a new Airport to replace the Waterville Airport will ever be build in Kings County on agricultural land. (Note: an airpark is not an airport but an aerodrome with more restrictive uses.) As we have been stating, the best decision is to keep the Waterville Airport where it is and not close it until there is a replacement airport available that can accommodate all of the businesses and facilities there. Since there is no plans to expand the Michelin tire plant, there is every reason that the airport should stay where it is.
MLA Keith Irving pulls together groups with interest to discuss future plans for airport land
May 8, 2014
WATERVILLE – A week has passed since a round-table discussion occurred between the interested parties involved in the closure of the Kings County Municipal Airport, and nothing has become any more certain than it had been leading up to the meeting.
The aviation community was finally able to meet with Michelin to ask a number of questions about their future plans for the development of the lands adjacent to their Waterville plant. Albeit behind closed doors, and under the close and watchful eye of representatives from the Province of Nova Scotia, and the Municipality of Kings, Mr. Grant Ferguson, President of Michelin North America (Canada) indicated to representatives that despite their being no impending expansion plans for the Waterville plant, in order for any future expansion to take place, the land will need to be cleared and readily available. He also indicated that in order for the Michelin plant to even bid on an expansion, it is necessary for them to own the land on which they are planning to expand.
When pressed to consider the option of co-habitation, allowing for the airport to exist on lands purchased by Michelin until expansion of the plant is, if ever, announced, Ferguson indicated that this will not be considered as any form of option.
Mr. Gordon Squires, member of the Annapolis Valley Flying Association who was almost blocked from the meeting due to his involvement with the Hangar Owners’ Group, attempted to sway the Province into purchasing the land and brokering the deal directly with Michelin – alternatively, it was suggested that the Province purchase and pave a one (1) kilometre strip in good faith in order to reclaim funds post-sale of the airport for $1.8 million. The Province has not committed to any such deal.
Brian Chappell, East Region Representative to the Canadian Operators and Pilots Association (COPA), reiterated the financial benefits of airports such as the one in Kings County. He cites them as “economic generators, and will be moreso as the economy improves.” Chappell, a pilot himself, represents the 500 COPA-registered of pilots in the Maritimes on the national stage, and has seen his share of airport closures. “The negative impacts of closing the airport far outweigh the positives that come along with promises and potential creation that may never come.”
Warden Diana Brothers indicated that at the meeting of the Committee of the Whole (COTW) on May 20th, a surprise would be coming for all involved parties. With the Warden being the key proponent of those looking to close the airport, the aviation community is not “holding its breath” for positive news.
A follow-up meeting of members of the roundtable will take place in July 2014.
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For more information, contact: Nancy Sweeney, Public Relations – Annapolis Valley Flying Association
Marathon council meeting sees airport-friendly councillors scolded for defending constituents
May 7, 2014
WATERVILLE – Constituents of Kings County faced adversity once again as their councillors were muzzled by the Warden for speaking out in defense of the Kings County Municipal Airport.
“That is not on this evening’s agenda,” cried Warden Diana Brothers as Councillors Pauline Raven and Patricia Bishop attempted to discuss e-mails from airport supporters. “They (the e-mails) are irrelevant and not a topic for discussion at this meeting.”
Supporters of the Kings County Municipal Airport sat in the Council Chambers for much of the evening, but as the topic of the airport was pushed further and further down the agenda, several were unable to stay. “I stayed from 6pm to 10:30pm, at which time the council finally brought up the topic of the airport,” states Andrew Robertson, member of the Annapolis Valley Flying Association.
Robertson also notes that other supporters of the airport were “booed” as they attempted to speak for the need of an airport in Kings County. “(Another member) was booed because he was not only a developer but also a pilot. The intentions of other defenders of the airport were also questioned because they held a pilot’s license.”
After discussion of the topic took place, public and the media were ushered out of the Council Chambers so that more discussion on this topic could take place. It is wondered what happened after those with a vested interest were ejected. Robertson questions, “Was this more Top Secret planning in the works?”
Council had voted in an in-camera session to close the airport back in March 2014. The Annapolis Valley Flying Association has started the Save the Airport Campaign and the Hanger Owner’s Group has taken legal action against the council.
The future of the airport at this point: non-existent if the Warden has anything to do with it.
—————————————————– 30 ————————————————————-For more information, contact:
Nancy Sweeney, Public Relations – Annapolis Valley Flying Association