Airport Authority Reports Nearing Take Off

It now appears the Moose Jaw Municipal Airport’s transition to an Airport Authority is a done deal and the new Airport Authority is about to be incorporated but even before that happens they have secured $2 million and the project is about to take off.

'“We have been meeting every week with the City. Josh (Mickleborough City Engineer) has been very helpful for us in the transition,” Greg Simpson chair of the Airport Authority told Budget Committee, adding “we have met with Mr Jim Dixon in understanding procurement rules for the City.”

As part of the presentation the Airport Authority Chair gave the financing details for the proposed municipal airport expansion which included the already granted $500,000 from the City of Moose Jaw and funding from the Provincial and Federal governments. The Federal and Provincial governments are set to contribute $1 million each. The funding also included $500,000 from the group which they were taking out as a loan.

“It’s approved it’s going to come over four years it’s the CAP funding,” Simpson said about the Province’s yet to be announced contribution.

Simpson claimed the group had a letter from a Deputy Minister stating the million dollars was approved and it included the four year time line. He further claimed the Airport Authority group had spoken to a contractor which specialized in airport construction that was willing to “put the $1 million up front” on the basis of that letter and commence runway expansion in the Spring and collect the money over four years.

The Community Airport Partnership (CAP) program is a program intended to rehabilitate and upgrade the network of regional community airports by providing financial assistance.

According to the Province’s webpage outlining the CAP Program the maximum annual amount any project may receive is $275,000 and the project costs are shared on a 50/50 basis.

Eligible applicants include regionally-focused municipal or community-owned airports that are not eligible for airport assistance under the federal government’s Airport Capital Assistance Program (ACAP). Applicants must be willing to fund the proposed project on an equal cost-shared basis (50/50) to a maximum of $275,000.
— Source: Government of Saskatchewan web-site

The Federal government’s $1 million commitment is also definitely occurring he told Budget Committee.

“We met with the Feds and have been getting good feedback from them,” Simpson said.

Budget Committee was also told the Airport Authority had a target date to finalize their incorporation to allow them to legally do things such as open a bank account but there was the potential it could be incorporated by early as next week.

Under the agreement creating the Airport Authority the City provided a $500,000 grant. Additionally the City will also provide a $30,000 annual grant which is matched by the RM of Moose Jaw. The Airport Authority will also receive rents from the hangars and other facilities as well as the rent from farmland leases adjacent the municipal airport. The Moose Jaw Municipal Airport is 100 percent owned by the City of Moose Jaw.

Previously Councillor Brian Swanson - who was not present at Wednesday evening’s Budget Committee meeting - had raised concerns regarding what funds were going to the Airport Authority from the City. He also stated those funds would finance the $500,000 loan the group then seeking to establish the Airport Authority said they were willing to put up. READ HERE

The previous working group and now the Airport Authority is seeking to expand the runway from the present 2954 feet to 4000 feet. At the presentation he claimed the group had been told they should go to the next stage and expand the runway to 5000 feet.

It needs to be noted the City of Moose Jaw owns the facility and the Airport Authority is a Third Party group which will be operating the Municipal Airport on the City’s behalf. No costs and financial implications, if any, have been released about any future Phase II Expansion at the facility.

Simpson said the Airport Authority was also asking for all funds coming to the City for hangar rentals to be transferred to the group. Hangar rents are presently 50 cents a square foot and

“We are asking for all revenues coming in 2019 to (come) to us,” Simpson said, adding “no more cash from the City” would be requested.

There will however be two required capital budget repairs including a rotating beacon the City is responsible for funding.

“Also on January 15th the RM of Moose Jaw wants us to invoice them for the $30,000 we are asking for matching funds from the City by January 30th.” Earlier in his presentation Simpson stated “the RM of Moose Jaw are ready to be invoiced their $30,000 share to match the City of Moose Jaw…we will be getting the RM to match the funds from the City.”

A brief history and a major report in the development of the Airport Authority was briefly highlighted. That report made claims of potential NATO Flight Training School of the municipal airport something the military said is not required. SEE RELATED - DND Made No Promises

The Airport Authority’s budget request, whether approved or modified, will be voted on by Budget Committee at the end of the budget process. All decisions Budget Committee makes must later be approved at Council as required under provincial legislation.

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