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Saturday, June 11, 2016

City Reviews Airport Operations

Owen Sound | by Matt Villeneuve  

Tough decisions for Owen Sound Council in regards to Billy Bishop Airport.

The Owen Sound-owned Billy Bishop Regional Airport may experience some turbulence, as the City continues its services overhaul.

Council on Friday reviewed a variety of options, including divesting or closing the facility -- but instead requested municipal staff provide more information.

In a services review survey, Owen Sound asked if the airport was necessary.

About 45 per cent of respondents agree the facility should be maintained, while the remaining 55 per cent disagree or were indifferent to the issue.

Councillors on Friday also suggested that if the Billy Bishop Airport is to remain a City asset, then it should become sustainable.

Mayor, Ian Boddy, says more information will be presented to Council in August.

He says any of the proposed options will significantly alter the airport's operations.

Ken Becking is the Director of Operations for Owen Sound -- and says the Billy Bishop Airport doesn't have the economic benefit it had prior to 2008.

Becking says video conferencing means companies don't use private aircraft or chartered flights to bring employees together for meetings anymore.

Owen Sound is in the midst of its 2016 services review, and Council is seeking input from the public on a variety of issues, including the airport.

So far, 828 comments have been submitted (as of May 26th).




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