October 24, 2021 7:21 a.m.
The Sarnia Airport Action Working Group believes that the future of the city’s airport requires a return to transporting more than 30,000 passengers per year.
The group, presenting a report to the council with several recommendations on Monday, said the airport is capable of increasing ridership and has already reached the benchmark, but more than one airline will need to be secured.
Mayor Mike Bradley is impressed with the recommendations.
“I expect and hope that the council will hear from the task force, which has done a great job, citizen-based, without political involvement, and then extend the lease until at least March or maybe even longer.” long so that we can start moving forward on some of the steps recommended by the task force, ”Bradley said.
Facilities to accommodate business jets and the creation of a profitable business park with a foreign trade zone to support existing businesses and attract new ones are recommended.
The working group also wishes to promote regional tourism by developing a “Chris Hadfield Air and Space Center” for aviation activities and special events at the airport.
“So there are some very positive recommendations coming forward and hopefully the board will adopt them and then over the next three to five years see if we can get this airport back to where we think it should be.”
Bradley said the loss of Air Canada service was key to the airport’s current problems, but he believes it can be fixed.
“This working group has come up with some great suggestions on how to do this.”
The regular council meeting begins at 10 a.m. on Monday, on ZOOM.