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Mountain View County airports deemed valuable community assets

Committee member acutely aware that organizations from COPA in Ottawa to the recreational aviation foundation from the United States are keeping abreast of the happenings in Mountain View County
Mountain View County owns the airports in Olds-Didsbury as well as Sundre, where the Mother's Day Fly-in Breakfast returned last May following a pandemic-induced hiatus. County council recently heard from Airport Advisory Committee members that the airports are serving their communities well. File photo/MVP Staff

MOUNTAIN VIEW COUNTY — The county-owned Sundre and Olds-Didsbury airports are serving the community well, including when it comes to supporting area businesses and pilot training.

That's the message council received from Airport Advisory Committee members during a delegation appearance at a recent council meeting.

“I know with absolute certainty the accomplishments of this administration are being admired and being monitored across the province,” said committee member Glen Bradley. 

“I’m also acutely aware that organizations from COPA in Ottawa to the recreational aviation foundation from the United States are keeping abreast of the happenings in this county.”

The committee is made up of county councillors and members of the aviation community in the region.

The committee’s first year in operation has been a great success, he said.

“What has been accomplished has by far exceeded my expectations,” he said. “An awful lot has happened in this first year. So far, 100 per cent of recommendations made by the advisory committee have either come to fruition or are at this time a work in progress.”

Accomplishments to date include new road signage at the Olds-Didsbury airport and the removal of encroaching timber off the end of runaway at Sundre.

More than 600 people attended the 2022 Mother’s Day Fly-In event, he said.

“The promotion and auction of lots to establish fair market value in Olds-Didsbury went off without a hitch. My recollection is this approach has never been used before in this province and I believe Mountain View County is blazing new trails in this regard,” he said.

“After many years, the release of lots in Sundre is now forthcoming and has created a buzz in general aviation, not only in Mountain View County but all over the province.”

Bradley said there is no recommendation for changes to the committee’s structure.

“It is casual the way it functions now; it is the way of team,” he said. “It is a space where ideas can be bounced off one another. It is a place where common ground can be found, not only within the aviation-minded but (also with) the representatives of the taxpayer. I urge Mountain View County to stay this course.”

Regarding infrastructure, he said, “My only recommendation at this time is to fiscal restraint. Maintain the quality of service now experienced and replace only what is needed to perpetuate that level of service with safety.”

The county’s airports have a bright future ahead, he said.

“From what I can see, Mountain View County is sitting in a very enviable position to make a huge contribution to aviation as a broker in bringing investment and jobs to our county,” he said.

The airports are also well located to support pilot training in the region, he said.

Reeve Angela Aalbers said the committee has done good work in its first year and expects that will continue in 2023. 

Council received the delegation's report as information.

Dan Singleton

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