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What are some possible options and solutions to work toward?
- Give up Waterville Aiprort and move to: Digby (120 km drive to the west) or Stanley (80 km drive east) with grass runways
- Fight the MOK decision in court on procedural grounds and try to: a) overturn the decision and keep Waterville open, or b) delay the closure to give us more time for the other options to bear fruit
- Continue to lobby Municipality of Kings, educate and lobby council members, attend public meetings, access to information about proceedings
- Engage in a focused dialog with: the surrounding communities/towns, the Province and the Federal government their economic or strategic interest to maintain existing air transport infrastructure for the long term future. The province and/or municipality may decide that there is a need for an airport and then decide there is money to build one. Short-term, a relocation of an entire regional airport is unlikely and even if approved, a time frame of 2-5 years is more realistic.
- Invite existing national association resources to the process (COPA, EAA, other aviation groups.) Invite guest speakers from other Canadian airports with recent success stories via SKYPE or in person to boost morale and learn “how they did it”. These events could be public! Trust me, there is nothing as infectious as a success story! Write regular articles to update on the status of Waterville
- Approaching CFB Greenwood with a cooperative agreement for specific checked out pilots and aircraft to use as a home base. This option might be most viable to resolve our close 6-month shut down deadline of Waterville, possibly extending mid-term, 2-5 years until a new regional airport has come into existence. However, because of heightened security concerns, a flight school operation might regrettably not be possible.
- Private airport: development of an economic development plan to further business, public access and education infrastructure. Selling airport themed properties. Hangar investment and rental. Aircraft maintenance, avionics repair, flight school… It appears that other counties might have a significant appetite to seize their opportunities… how about just east of the border, Hants County?
- Approach the owners of the land after Kings County sells it to be used as an airport for continued lease of the land past the SEPT 2014 deadline , effectively continuously extending a time line until 6 months before Michelin actually builds on the land. We are merely buying time but if time is used effectively we will be “out of there” before they want it! Ask Michelin to become a sponsor for education and youth work on their premises. All this could extend our lease past 6 months into a 2-5 year time frame and allow us to make changes gradually while exercising invested equity for a few more years.
- Transform the planned “Apple Blossom Parade” into a PR event called Kings County Airport Community Day: dear to have 100+ airplanes from all surrounding aviation communities supporting the case. Do a Kids Fly event. Model plane community. Invite CBC, local politicians, schools to see for themselves what they are going to loose! This would require significant resources from our and related resources (May 31 is merely weeks away!