July 20, 2021 3:50pm
The City of Owen Sound is looking for a new owner for the Billy Bishop Regional Airport.
City Council voted in favour of beginning the process to divest or sell the land with the hope that a new owner will continue to operate the site as an airport.
The city has been running the airport for 28 years, but Council has decided that the aviation community would be better served if the Billy Bishop Regional Airport was privately owned.
A media release reported the Owen Sound Billy Bishop Regional Airport (CYOS) was constructed in 1991 and has been operating since 1993. The airport property covers approximately 263 acres and is located five kilometres east of Owen Sound in the Municipality of Meaford.
It added that over time the needs of a municipality change and services are reviewed to address financial restraints and efficiencies.
Staff will begin the process to divest or reassign the responsibilities of CYOS starting with providing notice and inviting public comment for a future report to Council in 2021.
“Owning and operating an airport is not a business that we can maintain any longer,” said Mayor Ian Boddy.
“One of Council’s corporate priorities is ‘Clear Direction’ and Council and staff believe that the community would be better served if the City divested the asset to another party,” added the Mayor..
The average operating cost on an annual basis to the Owen Sound ratepayer to keep the airport as a City asset has increased from $100,000 per year in 2010 to approximately $235,000 in 2020.
Capital repair and replacement will exceed $1.5 million in the next five years.
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