District Council has ignored existing airport business like Lake Central Air Services, aviation and airport experts, facts from Transport Canada, the Transportation Safety Board, Environment Canada, the latest and earlier consultants, airline and local pilots.
All to close a perfectly usable runway to benefit a single mystery new business who prefers to build on top of a runway instead of beside it.
Why is District Council ignoring pilots? Because we are very negative about the airport plan and we are.not paid by the District.
No one expects council to have aviation competence but I think most people expect them to at least listen to those that do. Not here, not in Muskoka.
Why close the most valuable runway that is into the wind most often?
Because “We’re all going to helicopters… we don’t need runways any more”. Ridiculous. Totally false statement along with many others.
Council did NOT approve the Airport Plan which called for closing the grass runway with an alternate only in the distant future if needed.. Council only ACCEPTED the airport plan. Totally different.
The airport plan did NOT appeal to pilots as Harding knows.
09-27 is the prevailing wind grass runway. Aligned with the wind the majority of the time so most valuable to an airport.
Runways aren’t going away.
The Airport Plan is NOT the best short, medium and long term way to develop the airport. Not true at all.
“We all agreed a year ago to go with Option 2.” Absolutely NOT true at all.
A year ago council just ACCEPTED the Airport Plan. Not ADOPT the Airport Plan.
In fact, council unanimously voted to consider other options that are NOT in the Airport Plan including reopening the grass runway 09-27. That’s what the meeting was about.
$1 million is NOT a little more than $600,000. How incompetent was the original design and $600K?
Don’t be surprised the next guesstimate is $2 million+ or whatever it takes to make Council eliminate the alternate 12-30. I believe the alternate is just a ruse to close the grass runway.
“They ALL can be expanded. They ALL can be paved.” 12-30 and 09-27 are NOT the same. ONLY 09-27 can be expanded to 6000 ft for jets. Clearly Harding has not been listening to pilots.
Totally false statements like this from councillors as well as many, many documented totally false statements from the airport CEO and board likely swayed some other councillors to make a massive mistake.
Notice Harding has totally flip flopped from a year ago when airport management claimed they asked for an exemption to reopen the grass runway.
“Others, like Harding, had a different assessment of the situation. “I guess I’m very much in support of this resolution if Transport Canada and the powers that be will relax their rules a little bit, I think we add another option for those pilots that are in the air,” he said. “What I’ve heard consistently is emergency landings, strong winds east-west is the prevailing [condition]and that airplanes sometimes need to land. I would far rather see them land on a less-than-perfect grass runway than having to move a little bit north and use Hwy 118, if you will, to land that airplane…”
In fact, according to Transport Canada ” I will say that the Airport has never asked for an exemption against their Safety Management System or emergency response plan.”
Are all District Council decisions based on false information?
What a sorry, inconsistent dysfunctional group.
Not all of them, just the majority.
A vote based on false information is an uninformed, invalid vote.
Muskoka residents need to vote against the 13 councillors who have chosen to destroy the present and future of our airport at the next election.
A previous council understood the value of the grass runway and voted to preserve it. This council thinks they know better.
The majority of council was fooled into making a massive mistake. Not everyone, just the majority.
Here are factual comments from a councillor that actually read the latest report.
It’s much cheaper to simply build beside the grass runway and preserve the future of the airport.
Yet the majority of council ignored facts from the latest report as well.
Aviation experts and others have spent many hours writing letters to the editor, letters to council, delegations to council, detailed powerpoints and even two in-flight videos to voice the opposition.
Here is the first video link (12/30): https://youtu.be/XeaTdJ-eId8
Here is the second video link (09/27): https://youtu.be/YEFfD4xTDrs
We have contacted Transport Canada, the Transportation Safety Board and Environment Canada to get the facts that debunk the false information presented to council from airport management.
Muskoka residents deserve much better.
Pilots, including myself, should be using the grass runway right now. There never was a valid reason to close it and there is no valid reason it’s closed right now.
Muskoka pilot and retired Professional Engineer
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