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Old Posted Jun 29, 2018, 3:05 PM
CoryB CoryB is offline
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The St Andrews airport expansion makes me wonder where the demand is coming from. Typically these types of developments occur in reaction to demand, not in speculation there might be demand.
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  #4262  
Old Posted Jun 29, 2018, 8:14 PM
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Wpg_Guy Wpg_Guy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoryB View Post
The St Andrews airport expansion makes me wonder where the demand is coming from. Typically these types of developments occur in reaction to demand, not in speculation there might be demand.
Build it, and they will come?

Quote:
St. Andrew's Airport expanding
$2.3M for new roadways, extended taxiway, additional lots
Martin Cash By: Martin Cash

Posted: 06/27/2018 8:03 PM

St. Andrew’s Airport is undergoing the first expansion since it was certified by Transport Canada in 1964.

The small aircraft airport is spending $2.3 million to build new roadways, extend a taxiway and build a new apron area to make way for 10 new lots.

Only one prospective tenant — Aircraft Maintenance Solutions, a small aircraft maintenance company — has been confirmed. Craig Skonberg, airport general manager, said the company is currently working out of three other hangars and needs a hangar of its own.

"Everyone is very competitive," he said. "Everyone is playing their cards close to the vest."

The St. Andrews Airport, which has been owned by the Rural Municipality of St. Andrews since 1999, has secured bank financing for the work that includes building water and sewage lines and making arrangement for gas and electrical services from Manitoba Hydro and Centra Gas. Existing tenants or municipality taxpayers will not be asked to help fund the project.

"The St. Andrews Airport is thriving with operating profits annually and growth to the point that all airside and groundside lots for tenants are fully occupied," airport board chairperson Jerry Roehr.

It may be a small airport, but St. Andrew’s is very busy. In fact, it’s the second busiest in the province and the 17th busiest in the country out of 700 airports with 105,000 aircraft movements per year. The largest plane that might use the airport is a 13-seater.

When it was originally built, at the beginning of the "jet age" in the late ’50s and early ’60s, small aircraft were in danger of getting caught in turbulence from the jets at the major international airports.

"It was built to separate the traffic from Winnipeg," Skonberg said.

The airport just north of the city is now home to about 190 aircraft, two flying schools, charter companies and lodge operators and the home base for two small airlines — Northway Aviation and Amik Aviation — which operate scheduled services to mostly First Nation communities in Northeastern Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario.

Andrew Weremy, chief administrative officer for the RM of St. Andrews, said it is a good commercial asset for the municipality.

"Years back when it was owned by the Federal government it lost money every year," Weremy said. "Once it was taken over by the municipality and run by a separate board of directors... it now turns a profit every year. That is what helps them fund an expansion like this."

The airport generates a little more than $1 million in annual revenue, mostly from rental income.

Skonberg said the airport expansion, which is scheduled to begin next week, is supported by a "robust business plan." In addition to the airside lots, the expansion plans also include non-airside lots on the west side of Airport Drive.

A commercial real estate company will handle the search for suitable tenants.

martin.cash@freepress.mb.ca
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