The Lacombe Flying Club is taking a proactive approach to maintaining the Lacombe Airport.
At a meeting on Sept. 8th, Lacombe City council heard a presentation from Dave Scott, vice president of the Lacombe Flying Club, outlining the Club’s five-year plan for maintenance of the Lacombe Airport.
In his presentation, Scott outlined several maintenance concerns that will need to be addressed within the next few years at the airport. He said that none of the issues should pose immediate concerns, but that the Club would need some capital investment when it came time to address these issues and wished to begin such dialogue with the City early.
“I’m not here tonight with our hand out looking for funds,” said Scott.
Instead, Scott said that what the Club hoped to do was have a representative from the City work with the Club to see what it would take to move such projects forward.
Lacombe Flying Club operates and maintains the Lacombe Airport on behalf of the City, said Scott. He added that this is all done through volunteer work and typically the Club has asked for little to no aid from the City for its operations.
“Over the years, we haven’t asked for anything,” said Scott. “We bought our own tractor to mow our own grass, we blow our own snow.”
Scott added that he doesn’t see this changing, but said that some of the forthcoming projects are beyond the scope of the Club.
Most of the projects that are part of the flying Club’s five-year plan are regarding repairs and replacements due to wear and aging equipment. Scott outlined these projects in his presentation, explaining to council why they were necessary to ensure the longevity of the airport.
Such projects include lifting the existing runway to avoid further wear and subsequent damage, replacing fuel tanks that have reached their lifespan and replacing the old technology runway lights (which are currently working, but need extensive regular maintenance to remain so) with LED or solar-powered lights.
After the presentation, councillors were invited to ask questions of Scott, and Councillor Reuben Konnik wanted to know if the Flying Club did any kind of fundraising, citing how successful it has been for other community groups like FCSS. Konnik added that several other airports in Alberta host drag races on their runways as fundraisers and suggested the Lacombe Flying Club consider doing the same.
Scott said that the Club had, as yet, not done much fundraising outside of the annual Fly-In Drive-In Breakfast. He added that Konnik’s drag racing idea was, “A great idea” and he would bring it forward to the rest of the Club.
Mayor Steve Christie added that the City has slated a facility review of the airport for 2015 so the timing was excellent to receive such a report.
Ideally, Scott said the Flying Club would like to partner with both the City and the County in order to proceed with the maintenance, repair and upgrade projects. He added that the Club has already met with the County where they presented the same five-year plan.