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.