Airport Feasibility Study Report

There are two municipally owned and operated airports with hard surfaced runways in Huron County:

  1. Goderich Municipal Airport, owned by the Town of Goderich and located within the Township of Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh; and
  2. Richard W. Levan Municipal Aerodrome owned by the Township of North Huron and Located within the Municipality of Morris-Turnberry.

In spring of 2017, Explorer Solutions was retained to conduct an Airport Feasibility Study on both airports.  Explorer Solutions was tasked with assessing potential opportunities to reduce financing and operating costs as well as investigating the possibility to generate additional revenue sources by developing aviation and non-aviation projects on airports’ grounds.

The study was conducted between May and December 2017, with public consultations undertaken during July/August 2017.

The final report includes information on the airport replacement value, life expectancy of the infrastructure assets and funding that needs to be placed in reserves annually to maintain and replace the asset components at their end of life expectancy. To achieve this result, the report comments on the following main topics:

  • Operations: How the airports are currently operated in comparison to Transport Canada standards;
  • Infrastructure: The current state of runways, taxiways, buildings etc. and anticipated capital needs over the next 20 years;
  • Benchmarking: Comparing the two airports to other similarly sized airports in southwestern Ontario, and making recommendations to bring pricing and services in line with those airports; and
  • Development Options: investigating long term revenue-generating options for both airports.

The report (to view click here) goes into a high level of detail on each of the topics identified above.  The following points are highlights from the report:

  • Overall, both airports are operated well.  There are some minor changes proposed.
  • For Goderich, it is anticipated that approximately $6.2 million will be required over the next 1-5 years, the majority of which would be for rehabilitating runway 14/32.  An additional $2.8 million is identified in the 6-10 year timeframe.
  • For Wingham, approximately $620,000 of capital improvements are identified over the next 10 years, with an additional $3.2 million identified in the 10-20 year window for the resurfacing of the runway.
  • The report recommends investigating adding general aviation hangars, as there is a hangar shortage in southwestern Ontario.
  • Airport development options for Wingham for consideration:
    • Sale of agricultural lands;
    • Construction of additional general aviation hangars;
    • Growing the Radio-Controlled jets rally; and
    • Developing “Fly-In” packages for general aviation pilots.
  • Airport development options for Goderich for consideration:
    • Construction of additional general aviation hangars;
    • Develop residential multi-plexes; and
    • Scheduled passenger service to Greater Toronto Area.
    • Development of Haskap berry production on airport agricultural lands
  • Wingham’s overall cost performance over the 20 year horizon would be primarily dependent on the price achieved for the agricultural land and the rate of return achieved on the investment of the funds.
  • A number of development scenarios are presented for Goderich.  Two of those scenarios would result in full or near cost recovery over the 20-year horizon.
  • Section 12 identifies the County is as a possible funding partner in a conceived “Airport Maintenance and Rehabilitation Fund”.  A number of different options are presented for consideration.

The complete PDF of the Airport Feasibility Study is available below.  To access the report in an alternative format, please contact Chris Watson at cwatson@huroncounty.ca

Resources

  • pdf
    Feasibility Study for YGD and CPR7 Airports: FINAL REPORT