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Villeneuve Airport should offer more

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  |  Posted: Wednesday, May 08, 2013 06:00 am

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While I agree that Villeneuve airport has several advantages over the proposed Parkland development and, being a resident of St. Albert, I fully support the vision that the Edmonton Airport Authority (EAA) is painting for this facility.

However, I have to say that as a general aviation (GA) pilot and aircraft owner, EAA and Villeneuve have been nothing short of “frustration.” Current development does nothing to address the needs of the general aviation pilot/owner and EAA’s response to repeated requests to address this have been ignored or sidetracked.

The general aviation industry makes up a very significant chunk of aircraft activity in our region and, as you have alluded to, contributes a significant revenue stream for aviation-related businesses in the capital region, yet EAA has done nothing to welcome these pilots/owners to Villeneuve in terms of facilitating affordable sites for long-term parking or small individual hangar sites.

The county of Strathcona on the other hand has embraced the GA community through the Josephburg airport with affordable individual hangar sites and consequently is currently at capacity with a 20-year waiting list. Our only other option at the moment is Cooking Lake – wrong end of town.

Ultimately, I do not think that two airports in such close proximity to each other as Villeneuve and the proposed Parkland airport will each realize their full potential, competing for the same and limited number of commercial flights, services and aviation traffic. For me, I’m with whomever can provide affordable hangar plots and there are 100 guys in line behind me. Maybe competition in this sense is good?

Robert Akkerman, St. Albert


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