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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Airport Work Out to Tender

Wiarton | by Matt Villeneuve  

Work could start soon on main runway at the Wiarton-Keppel International Airport

Progress is being made at the Wiarton-Keppel International Airport, as the governing board will soon be searching for contractors.

Chair of the Airport Board, Dwight Burley, tells Bayshore Broadcasting News an advertisement went out on March 10th, requesting companies to submit a proposal for the required work on the airport's main runway.

The closing date has been tentatively scheduled for March 31st -- weather permitting.

According to Burley, the board requires that prospective companies visit the Wiarton-Keppel Airport before drafting an action plan.

A visit wouldn't be possible during another winter storm.

Transport Canada accepted the Airport Board's 'Corrective Action Plan (CAP) at the beginning of February, with the condition that the board provide additional documentation.

A CAP was required by the federal agency, after a summer inspection found that the main runway had deteriorated and needed to be replaced.

At 5,000-feet-long and 150-feet wide, the strip is about twice its original life expectancy.

Following the closing date, Burley says he'll call a special Airport Board meeting, and the engineer will review each proposal and make a recommendation.

Burley also tells us the airport's owners -- Georgian Bluffs and South Bruce Peninsula -- are still seeking federal and provincial grants, as a way to offset the cost.

The repairs cannot move forward without approval from both Council.

The Wiarton-Keppel International Airport was downloaded to the municipalities from the federal government in 1999, and very little maintenance has been done since.

The approach lighting also needs to be upgraded, as identified in the inspection report. 


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