Forestburg village council
The Forestburg airport will undergo an inspection to assess its current condition and determine if any upgrades are required as decided by council at their last regular meeting on Wed., June 15.
Administration recommended that council approve the request to close the Forestburg Municipal Airport as of Dec. 31, 2016 and explore alternate uses for the property, however council decided to gather more information prior to making a final decision.
Council had previously discussed closing the Forestburg Municipal Airport and utilizing the land for a recreation area, however according to the unapproved council meeting notes, that discussion was tabled pending a public meeting and no further action was taken at that time.
Administration felt it was time that the issue should be brought forward again.
CAO Debra Moffat reported to council that the annual drag races and mud bog are held at the airport and the village has run into concerns when closing the airport for these events with Notice to Air Men (NOTAM).
During the fires in Fort McMurray, for example, there were issues with staffing at NavCanada and as a result there was no guarantee that the airport closure would be registered during the town events.
Day events were not as big a concern, however because the airport is utilized by site, not instrumentation, anyone attempting to land would not be able to see the obstructions on the runway during poor weather conditions or at night.
Concerns continue to be raised due to inexperienced staff and lack of training in relation to operating and maintaining a municipal airport.
Moffat said administration readily admits they feel extremely unprepared in dealing with the facility.
Work has started on 49th Ave. and it is anticipated that the contractor will be moving to 48th Ave. by the end of June. Paving will follow completion of road base repairs.
Moffat reported that she completed 2016 tax and assessment notices and that council held a tax sale auction on June 1, however no one was in attendance.
The property was subsequently sold to a private individual and all documentation has since been submitted to Alberta Land Titles.