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