6 April 2014 – Meeting

Airport Taskforce Meeting – AVFA
Sunday 6 Apr 2pm
Waterville Firehall

(attendance: about 20)

Christoph Both chaired the meeting
Handout Containing:
1. Agenda and Mission Statement
2. Gary Dunfield’s motion and letter defining the Taskforce
3. Copy of the article by Larry Bogan to be published in the EAA Newsletter – Bits and Pieces (-for aviation and Canada) http://www.eaa.org/bitsandpieces/articles
4. Copy of the instructions for the taskforce@avfa.ca email list
(The first two are on the AVFA website – the third will be posted there soon)

Christoph made some comments on what the taskforce is about
– Need to go in many directions – some tasks may not work out
– We have to be careful to not take on too much and burn ourselves out
– We have to apply ourselve to solve the problems – no one else will.

REPORTS:
——–
A. Municipal Legal:
Two members (Larry Bogan and Ken Cheslock) attended the first meeting of the Hanger Owners (HO) with their lawyer and asked about the possibility of legal action against the Municipality of Kings (MOK) Council for its closure of the airport because of procedural error as defined by the Provincial Municipalities Act (regarding disallowed closed sessions and land sales). The opinion of the lawyer (Radall Balcolme) was that suits on procedure were seldom successful and not worth pursuing.

B: Legal Support Fund:
The executive of AVFA with recommendations from members, decided not to be the conduit for funds to help the Hanger Owners with their legal action with the MOK. The AVFA does not want to have a conflct of interest when talking to and dealing with the King County Council. Contributions to the legal fund will be handled by Ken Cheslock outside the AVFA.

C: Hanger Owners Group:
Bill Young reported on that the HO’s have met with Randall Balcolm of Waterberry and Newcomb. Balcolm has sent a letter to the MOK Council advising them of pending legal action concerning the closing of the Waterville Airport. The argument is that the Waterville Airport Cooperative Ltc (WACL) still had a year more in its lease to run the aiport and that since the closer was illegal the HO’s demeand that the airport not be closed and they do not have to remove their hangers. A reply letter has been received claiming that the Council believes they have the right to close the airport in September. The next step will be to ask for a Judicial Review but that has to be done soon, 30 days from the time of the Council vote to close the airport. The legal action will be expensive and HO’s will need help.

Brian Chappell has talked with the executive of COPA (Canadian Owners and Pilots Association) and they will make funds available from their Action Fund (currently has $1,000,000). You can help COPA by donating to their “Freedom to Fly” Fund
(see http://copanational.org/specialaction.cfm)

D: New County Airport Group:
Ted Davison report on conversations with Planners and Developement officers in our neighboring counties about locating a new airport there.
Officials in both counties were surprised at MOK closing the airport. Hants West would encourage building an airport there and additional talks are planned in the near future with the Council there. Annapolis county is also interested and think it is a great idea to build there. They even mentioned that financial assistance would be available to a non-profit group in such action. Land location was also considered.

G: New Groups:
No new groups were formed but much discussion occured at this point.
Paul Eassson and Ted Davison both mentioned that the airport committee setup by the Kings County Council is at a standstill. The Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) for Kings County claims that with the HO’s litigation, that they can do nothing. But there is no relation between the litigaion and looking for a new airport and should proceed quickly. Several members of the AVFA have applied to be on the committee including Paul, Ted, Bill Young,

Peter Rouleau pointed out that in discussion with people who knew the Michelin plant and its expansion, he learned that the building itself would only be to the chain link fence at the current property boundary. This would make the current runway unsafe but that the runway sould be angled to the north and make the current runway a taxiway. In this way the current airport could continue operating.

Ted Davison has learned that the owners of at least one potential site for a new airport (as suggested in the Airport Relocation Report) had never been contacted by anyone as to the potenetial its land.

Ann and Tom Goddard met with Premier McNiel. The province really doesn’t know much about the ariport.
MLA Keith Irving attended the meeting and emphasized that all parties should get together and talk the problem over.
He will be calling all parties to make sure the meeting happens soon.

TASKFORCE GROUPS and Point persons
————————————-
A. Public Relations – Nancy Sweeeney (email: publicrelations@avfa.ca)
B: MLA/Politicians Action Group – Ann and Tom Goddard
C: WACL Relations – Tom Goddard
D: COPA Relations – Brian Chappell
E: Greenwood CFB Relations – Walter Isenor
F: Municipality of Kings Relations – Gary Dunfield
G: EAA Chapter 1051 Relations – Larry Bogan
H: Michelin Relations – Walter Isenor
I: Arthur Irving – Walter Isenor

If you are willing to help on any of these relationships please contact the Point person.

AVIATION EVENTS:
—————–
A: Apple Blossom Festival, COPA Youth Flight and Public Events – 31 May 2014 – Waterville Airport
We need to get as many people and planes out for this event to “show our colors” and to make the importance of the airport visible to the public. Everyone should be involved if possible.
Nancy Sweeney – publicity
B: Stanley Fly-in Labor Day 2014
This is another opportunity to display but at our neighboring airport. It’s a great gathering and we want to set up a display about Waterville Airport. Please participate if you can. 
Brian Chappell – publicity

PUBLICITY:
———–
Everyone is urged to send letters to media and politician. Please send a copy to Nancy Sweeney (publicrelations@avfa.ca)

NEXT MEETING:
————
Next Saturday April 12 at 9 am – Waterville Airport Terminal Bldg 
(note: delayed to 9:30 am to allow time for breakfast meeting at 8 am – LDB)

Recorded by Larry Bogan 

General Aviation for the Annapolis Valley – COPA Flight 147