Okotoks Airport Closing

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shamrock104
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Okotoks Airport Closing

Post by shamrock104 »

Was wondering when this was going to happen, now it appears that by April 18th
It's closing down. The multi million properties surrounding it and their owners were
Probably strong opponents of it closing down, not so much an Air Ranch now.
Will be sad to see it go as I have some fond memories of that place.
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CL-Skadoo!
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Re: Okotoks Airport Closing

Post by CL-Skadoo! »

Proponents or opponents?

Do the people near the airport support aviation or seek drive it out?

Miso confused!
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Re: Okotoks Airport Closing

Post by dirtdr »

http://calgary.ctvnews.ca/safety-issues ... -1.2854845

CTV Calgary Staff
Published Monday, April 11, 2016 5:18PM MDT
Last Updated Monday, April 11, 2016 7:19PM MDT
An airstrip in Okotoks is shutting down after voluntarily surrendering its licence so that it can address safety deficiencies.
The Okotoks Air Ranch Airport will close next Monday because the area around it has been built up over the years and it now requires higher certification.
Airport officials say unauthorized breaches to the landing area, increased regulatory compliance and seasonal elevated levels of wildlife activities on and around the airport, have led management to determine that the current safety risks are excessive.
PHOTOS
Okotoks Airport, airport, airport closure, Okotoks
Some have just a few days to find a new place for their planes.
In order to keep pilots and residents safe a number of things need to be addressed and that could take some time.
The airport operator will make a voluntary surrender of the airport operator’s certificate, on a temporary basis, to Transport Canada.
“The airport has always been a certified airport with Transport Canada and that means that it has a standard of safety and compliance that is to be adhered to and is regulated and over seen by Transport Canada,” said Bryce Medd, GM Okotoks Airport.
Owners with operational aircraft must have it out of the airport before April 18th, at 6:00 p.m and Transport Canada says that no takeoffs or arrivals can occur after that time.
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Flybabe
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Re: Okotoks Airport Closing

Post by Flybabe »

Sad. My career started there.

Not surprised to see this happen, though.
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Re: Okotoks Airport Closing

Post by Shiny Side Up »

Flybabe wrote:Sad. My career started there.

Not surprised to see this happen, though.
How long ago? A while ago I started a project to make a bit of a photo archive, we got first solo pics from when way back. If you were interested in a copy of the old polaroid, it could be arranged. That stands for anyone else for that matter, feel free to PM me.
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cpknight
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Re: Okotoks Airport Closing

Post by cpknight »

Anyone want to fly in this weekend before it's gone? Add to your "runways I landed on but now are closed" list?
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Flybabe
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Re: Okotoks Airport Closing

Post by Flybabe »

Shiny Side Up wrote:
Flybabe wrote:Sad. My career started there.

Not surprised to see this happen, though.
How long ago? A while ago I started a project to make a bit of a photo archive, we got first solo pics from when way back. If you were interested in a copy of the old polaroid, it could be arranged. That stands for anyone else for that matter, feel free to PM me.
'93 - '95

Oh so long ago :shock:
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JasonE
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Re: Okotoks Airport Closing

Post by JasonE »

cpknight wrote:Anyone want to fly in this weekend before it's gone? Add to your "runways I landed on but now are closed" list?
I'm game, but need a faster plane than mine for a weekend trip...It's about 1400 miles from here!
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anofly
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Re: Okotoks Airport Closing

Post by anofly »

Why would they not just lower it to registered? in stead of certified?s lots of municipalities have done it, as cert airports are way more expensive to keep than registered aerodromes . They may be a lot safer certified or they may not be , some registered aerodromes are very safe.
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Re: Okotoks Airport Closing

Post by HiLo »

anofly wrote:Why would they not just lower it to registered? in stead of certified?s lots of municipalities have done it, as cert airports are way more expensive to keep than registered aerodromes . They may be a lot safer certified or they may not be , some registered aerodromes are very safe.
Because that would involve keeping it open and subjecting the noble residents of Beautiful Okotoks to Chemtrails and AeroToxic Syndrome. And oooooooh, the noise, oooooh.
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shamrock104
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Re: Okotoks Airport Closing

Post by shamrock104 »

Hilo, I would totally agree. I would almost guarantee that it's the local residents who have not wanted this airport in their own back yard.
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cpknight
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Re: Okotoks Airport Closing

Post by cpknight »

Looks like there is going to be some sort of consultation process on the future.

cf. http://cfx2.ca/
cf. http://cfx2.ca/wp-content/uploads/2008/ ... irport.pdf

"Stakeholders" are encouraged to register before May 6 at: stakeholders@CFX2.ca
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yycflyguy
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Re: Okotoks Airport Closing

Post by yycflyguy »

Any memorabilia up for sale?
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HiLo
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Re: Okotoks Airport Closing

Post by HiLo »

cpknight wrote:
"Stakeholders" are encouraged to register before May 6 at: stakeholders@CFX2.ca
Where can I but cheap stakes?
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Re: Okotoks Airport Closing

Post by CpnCrunch »

anofly wrote:Why would they not just lower it to registered? in stead of certified?s lots of municipalities have done it, as cert airports are way more expensive to keep than registered aerodromes . They may be a lot safer certified or they may not be , some registered aerodromes are very safe.
You can't have a registered airport inside a built-up area.

https://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/civilaviation/ ... r6-406.htm

The CARs exemption for allowing low flying over a built-up area when taking off or landing only applies to certified airports IIRC.
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Re: Okotoks Airport Closing

Post by Posthumane »

cpknight wrote:Anyone want to fly in this weekend before it's gone? Add to your "runways I landed on but now are closed" list?
I'll probably be heading there this weekend. I'm not sure how it will be with parking there overnight, might have to park in High River or Indus and just fly there for a few circuits.
CpnCrunch wrote:
anofly wrote:Why would they not just lower it to registered? in stead of certified?s lots of municipalities have done it, as cert airports are way more expensive to keep than registered aerodromes . They may be a lot safer certified or they may not be , some registered aerodromes are very safe.
You can't have a registered airport inside a built-up area.

https://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/civilaviation/ ... r6-406.htm

The CARs exemption for allowing low flying over a built-up area when taking off or landing only applies to certified airports IIRC.
The funny thing is that it isn't really a built up area apart from the houses that were specifically built around the airport under the guise of an air ranch. There is nothing beyond those houses on three sides. This closure was in the making and became almost inevitable when the developer started to build houses off the ends of the runway rather than just on the sides. I don't know what the general opinion is of the residents in that community but certainly many of them are non-pilots and may have no interest in aviation at all - they just bought at the air ranch because the houses are nice. Or maybe they didn't notice the airport is there when buying...
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Re: Okotoks Airport Closing

Post by CpnCrunch »

Posthumane wrote: The funny thing is that it isn't really a built up area apart from the houses that were specifically built around the airport under the guise of an air ranch. There is nothing beyond those houses on three sides. This closure was in the making and became almost inevitable when the developer started to build houses off the ends of the runway rather than just on the sides. I don't know what the general opinion is of the residents in that community but certainly many of them are non-pilots and may have no interest in aviation at all - they just bought at the air ranch because the houses are nice. Or maybe they didn't notice the airport is there when buying...
According to the document on the air-ranch website which explains the issue, it's nothing to do with the housing around the air ranch. It is due to the town of Okotoks deciding a few years ago to increase the size of the town. I can't find the document now.
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Re: Okotoks Airport Closing

Post by co-joe »

Funny. Just last weekend I went to friend's house and his dining room table is literally 50' from the wind sock. He just moved in mid december. Doesn't even have dirt to plant grass on yet. He and his family love the airport and watching the planes. Says that through his triple pane argon windows he can barely hear the engines. What a bummer.
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anofly
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Re: Okotoks Airport Closing

Post by anofly »

How many planes based there approx? Before closure?
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Shiny Side Up
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Re: Okotoks Airport Closing

Post by Shiny Side Up »

There was about 30-40 airplanes based on the field at the maximum. Unfortunately within the last year, the potential for closure has been well known in addition to the unwelcoming airport management. Landing fees and PPR requirements had been steepened, and the airport was subject to closure on a regular basis. In my view the plan has been to close it for a substantial time, though the airport management will refute this. When you realize that the airport management company's owner also has a stake in the development around the airport, well, follow the money.

That said, this is merely the culmination of some self fulfilling prophecy. The airport has been in danger since Mr Rowland stopped being involved in the development of and around the airport. The succession of developers since have been strictly interested in maximizing their short term profits at the expense of the long term viability of the aerodrome. This has been incredibly short sighted in my opinion since if the aerodrome would have been developed favoring air activity, Okotoks could have had a revenue generating piece of infrastructure the equivalent to Springbank given the current demands for GA activity in the Calgary area. If Orville Rowland knew what was going on now, or had been going on since he passed away, he'd be spinning in his grave.
According to the document on the air-ranch website which explains the issue, it's nothing to do with the housing around the air ranch. It is due to the town of Okotoks deciding a few years ago to increase the size of the town. I can't find the document now.
That document is full of half truths. The plan for the land south of the airport was originally in the town of Okotok's growth plan was slated for recreational and light commercial. In particular, businesses that may have had synergy with the airport, and ball diamonds and soccer fields that would have left much green space. The developer (also the party of the airport management remember) worked a long time to have this land rezoned as residential. While this played into part of the town's plan to increase residential areas, it also began the problem for the town which then lacked room for commercial use. Okotoks has long had the issue of population growing faster than support for it, and a lot of people still are dependent on driving to Calgary for various needs.
He and his family love the airport and watching the planes.
More people needed to be more vocal in their support for the airport, and the lesson here is if you like the airport near you, support it now, not wait until its in trouble. In truth there has in the past been an adversarial relationship of the airport with residents, since even when Mr. Rowland handed over the development, the developer then had circulated the potential closure of the airport, which has cursed the place with uncertainty since the late nineties. Many of the original parcels of land were sold under the promise of the airport closing, and at least as many sold with the promise of it remaining open. Even among the residents there has been substantial disagreement in the past, though too little too late, residents have come to realize that the substitute of a lazy aerodrome in their back yard might be eminently preferable to whatever the developer has in mind. Even the removal of the airport infrastructure will mean substantial construction effort, which might mean five years or more of construction in your back yard, not to mention increased construction traffic in the neighborhood, and more neighbors. Most of the residents that have land adjacent to the airport grounds are likely to see a substantial value decrease to their property.
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Re: Okotoks Airport Closing

Post by Posthumane »

Well written SSU. All in all, a sad state of affairs.

Even with the airport closed, I can't see that tearing up the runway to build something else there would be very cost effective. It's not like there's a shortage of land in the area, and construction in southern Alberta is at a snail's pace right now and probably will be for the next few years until the bounce back.

Anyway, I'm off to land at CFX2 for what may be the last overnight stop there. Might see some of you there.
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JasonE
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Re: Okotoks Airport Closing

Post by JasonE »

I hope all the people who don't support the airport loose significant property value when it closes. Shame on them.
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Re: Okotoks Airport Closing

Post by Prodriver »

Maybe all those planes can locate at YYC and the increase in traffic will help lower the 90.00 landing fee?? These inmates that look after this stuff are slowly killing it off!
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Re: Okotoks Airport Closing

Post by blue thunder »

I have been involved with the Air Ranch since the current ownership bought the land from the previous owner (I think it was the bank) around 1998. That said, I was/am a silent investor (so to speak) and am currently involved in a legal battle with the majority share holder of the Air Ranch. My legal issues have nothing to do with the airport closure, but I have my hunch on what 'may' be going on. I've attached a screen shot of the over view of the air ranch. What if one diabolically planned the airport closure and it opened up the opportunity for some 200 additional lots? Like someone said earlier, follow the money. It isn't a secret that the initial concept of an aircraft community didn't pan out as expected. Everything on the east side of the runway was re-vamped into typical subdivision living. Doing away with the runway just adds to that flavour. Again, it's just a hunch, but I think some of you may have the right concept...I don't want to sound like a jilted investor, but money usually talks.
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radubc
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Re: Okotoks Airport Closing

Post by radubc »

What about the houses on the west side? The ones with hangars. Do their owners have any power? What will hapen to the price of those properties, given that the hangars are now useless?
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