MUNICIPAL AIRPORT COSTS AND REVENUES REVEALED
In a response to a written question from Councillor Brian Swanson, a detailed expenditure and revenues report was provided to Council from 2013 – 2017.
The report showed that in the five year period, revenues the municipal airport itself generated were not enough to cover the expenditures.
"This information would have been important when it came to the discussion of increasing the grant by $86,000 a year plus $500,000 (as part of the airport authority deal),” Councillor Brian Swanson said, adding the airport was not running a large operational deficit in the previous five years.
“I hope to undermine the argument we have to subsidize the airport an extra $86,000 plus a $500,000 grant…the farmland lease (of $86,000 annually) is not revenue to the airport,” Coun Swanson said.
In 2013, $39,091 was spent, whereas airport rent and a maintenance grant brought in $22,783.
In 2014, $41,737 was spent, whereas airport rent and a CAP grant brought in $30,882.
In 2015, the municipal airport made a small profit, as $26,825 was spent while $28,055 was received in rents.
In 2016, $30,436 was spent whereas airport rent brought in $29,021.
In 2017, $34,300 was spent, whereas airport rent brought in $29,021.
The report also includes rents for farmlands adjacent to the Moose Jaw Municipal Airport from 2013 – 2017.
From 2013-2016, the farmland leases paid $66,563 while in 2017 the leases paid $84,507.
Operations at the Moose Jaw Municipal Airport were turned over to a local group – the Moose Jaw Municipal Airport Working Group (MJAAWG) - to set up and operate the facility as an airport authority in November 2017.
Under that agreement, the City of Moose Jaw would provide a $500,000 grant to MJAAWG.
The funds would be used to secure financing from upper levels of government for expanding the runway and upgrading facilities.
An October 26, 2017 report to Executive Committee about MJAAWG stated “They have developed key partnerships with community stakeholders, including CAE, and DND (15 Wings) among others.”
In a paper submitted to Council, the group stated an upgraded and expanded airport operated as an airport authority was necessary to local economic development. The report to Council included a 2014 letter about maybe using the municipal airport for training purposes by the NATO Flight Training School at 15 Wing Moose Jaw.
The new airport authority would also receive an annual $30,000 operations grant. Cutting that funding was proposed but defeated in 2018 budget deliberations.
A February 16th, 2018 MJ Independent story reported the military had no plans to contribute or use the Moose Jaw Municipal Airport at the present time.
Presently, MJ Independent is waiting for a response and clarification as to 15 Wing’s and the Department of National Defence’s plans for using the Municipal Airport, from the Minister of National Defence Office in Ottawa. They have promised to respond.