Airport Authority Bylaw Temporarily Grounded

Robert Thomas

Creation of a Moose Jaw Municipal Airport Authority is going to have to wait until at least the next regular meeting of Moose Jaw City Council, as the bylaw creating it failed to gain unanimous support.

In a series of 3-2 votes with Councillors Crystal Froese, Scott McMann, Chris Warren in favour and Councillors Brian Swanson and Dawn Luhning opposed, the proposed new Airport Authority failed in its bid to be formally adopted in a single council meeting.

The votes were 3-2 against introducing the bylaw creating the Airport Authority as well as first, second and third readings. In order to be adopted in a single council meeting bylaws must have the unanimous consent of council.

In the past, the group behind the expansion and creation of the Airport Authority has stated that 15 Wing could use the Moose Jaw Municipal Airport for training purposes as well as suggesting the base commander would sit on the Authority's board.

Under the bylaw, the base commander is not listed as a board member. In earlier stories looking into the airport, DND denied it would need to make use of the municipal airport to fulfilling it’s training obligations.

Read: Airport Authority Moving Forward

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the City, CAE, airport group and Sask Polytechnic to look at the potential of developing a drone training course at the airport.

SEE RELATED: Department of National Defence Made No Promises Regarding Airport Expansion

See Related: Moose Jaw Drone Program

The Authority will receive a $500,000 grant and loan guarantees on a further $500,000 from the City to help attract funding from the Provincial and Federal governments to expand the runway and upgrade the facilities. The City will give an annual grant of $30,000 plus the rental income of adjacent farmland. The RM of Moose Jaw will also contribute $30,000 on annual basis.

In developing the plan to expand the airport a study was conducted by the RM into its viability. The municipal airport is located in the RM but the City has 100 percent ownership.

Despite the opposition to the Airport Authority the votes were taken without any discussion. Mayor Fraser Tolmie was not in attendance and one councillor seat is absent due to the resignation of Don Mitchell.

Read More on this topic:

Read: Airport Costs and Revenues Revealed

Read: Airport Gets $30K