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Tuesday, 04 October 2016 19:03

Airport is now breaking even

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By Pat Warren

            For many years some people viewed it as black hole of expense, but now the Kawartha Lakes Municipal Airport (KLMA) is actually breaking even—and bringing business to Kawartha Lakes.

            The airport board has hired the management company, the Loomex Group, to help make the facility more profitable.

            Bob Hunter, a marketing and business-development manager with Loomex, outlined to

council, at its Sept. 27 information meeting, how the airport has improved over the last few years.

            KLMA has replaced its fuelling system, which allows the facility to offer a more competitive fuel cost, increasing business. Fuel revenue is up 30 percent and the new system allows filling 24/7, every day of the year.

            The city fronted the money to build more hangers, and 100 percent are now occupied, which has also added to the bottom line—and the board is repaying the city’s money.

            The board is also hoping to add a flight school, which Hunter says "is very popular these days." This project will also help improve the bottom line.

            Hunter said the airport is in a fortuitous position in comparison to other small airports.

            However, it needs to resurface the runway, which is estimated to cost a $1 million. To be more fiscally responsible, the board has looked at an overlay solution instead of a full replacement, saving $800,000. Repaving will make the Lindsay airport even more of a destination, since Buttonville Airport has closed.

            Down the line, the airport will also need to add a parallel runway and a crosswind runway to lure a flight school, said Hunter, which is planned for 2019.

            Hunter assured council that any initiatives will have a strong business case before moving forward. Ward 8 Councillor John Pollard wanted to know how much business is being lost due to the poor runway?

            Hunter said that business has increased because of the new fuel system but was unsure how the runway factored in. He added however, that it would only take a few days to do the resurfacing.

            The board is also going to do a core services review, considering ownership, governance, finance and even whether Kawartha Lakes should have an airport.

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