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Olds - Didsbury Airport study recommends marketing in Calgary area

$10,000 study recommends opportunities for Mountain View County to attract business to its airport
MVT Olds Didsbury Airport
A recent report outlines possible opportunities at the Olds-Didsbury Airport. File photo/MVP Staff

MOUNTAIN VIEW COUNTY - A business attraction study conducted on the Olds-Didsbury Airport has recommended that marketing be focused on the Calgary area and on aircraft owner-operators.

“I think (the report) confirms that we are on the right direction with our airport,” Mountain View County Reeve Angela Aalbers said during the recent council meeting, when the report for the municipally-owned airport was reviewed.

Facilitated by Operations Economics Inc., the $10,000 study included a current overview of the airport, an overview of comparable and competitive aerodromes in the region, focused aviation opportunities and recommendations.

Funding for the study came from a grant from Rural Municipalities of Alberta. The county-owned airport is located just off Highway 2A between Didsbury and Olds.

The study identified available land at the site as a strength, opportunities including attracting commercial and private hangars, weaknesses as no plan or airside infrastructure of undeveloped lands and no large operators, and threats including numerous competitors in Calgary region.

In all, six recommendations were made in the study’s final report:

• Marketing should focus on the Calgary area and owner-operators. Over time, reaching out to owner-operators may bear fruit.

• Development opportunities should follow trends in aerospace related to electric, advanced air mobility aircraft and advanced ultra-light aeroplanes.

• While some advertising might be useful, word-of-mouth is more powerful and could include attending local conference and events.

• Joining the Alberta Aviation Council is an option that could provide rewards.

• The westside lands of the airport represent a significant opportunity for the community. It is recommended that an analysis of the cost of developing these lands, including the cost of a taxiway and access roads, be undertaken to analyze the capital costs and steps required to develop the area in a phased approach.

• The county should produce brief marketing materials for Olds-Didsbury Airport development. These should amount to about two pages if printed, enough to attract interest and establish credibility. If prepare well, these materials could also be what the county forwards to people interested in the site.

Council accepted the report as information.


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