Golden Municipal Airport Economic Viability Study Print Article Font Size
The Town of Golden is looking for a qualified consulting firm to undertake an Economic Viability Study. This study will determine the best way forward for the continued operation of the Golden Municipal Airport.
“The viability investigation of our airport is a Council strategic priority for this term of office,” said Mayor Ron Oszust. “In an era where responsible local governments are now compelled to more closely examine the state of their infrastructure and services to check for sustainability, this initiative represents our responsibility to make sure, beyond doubt, where this non-core facility and service should be going. While it’s totally intuitive for us to think having an airport is a great thing, it must be measured against our ability to actually maintain it over the long term.”
In the context of responsible asset management and accountability to the local taxpayers, the Town of Golden has been collecting and analyzing the necessary data and inventories of all infrastructure and services. Through this process, it has been identified that there is a sizeable corporate infrastructure deficit, leading the Town to begin the re-evaluation of its service levels and developing long term financial strategies to ensure core infrastructure (water, sewer, roads, facilities, etc.) maintenance and renewal is prioritized and achieved.
“Responsible asset management practices compel us to look at our infrastructure and facilities for the foreseeable term and reconcile use, need, and cost now and in the future,” said Chief Administrative Officer, Jon Wilsgard.“The purpose of this initiative is to commission aviation and economic development experts that can give us a solid, technically backed and realistic business case for this area that we can afford and achieve. Under current infrastructure conditions, service and revenue levels, we don’t have that. As of right now all options are on the table for funding possibilities.”
The Golden Municipal Airport has its beginnings in the 1980’s and is now home to several aviation related businesses and users including helicopter charter and maintenance, aviation fuelling, a seasonal provincial wildfire staging base, the local Search and Rescue Society, private aircraft owners (T-hangars), recreational flying, eco-tourism (skydiving), and day-use picnic area.
In 2015, a technical condition assessment of the runway was undertaken by WSP Canada as well as an estimate for runway widening and navigation aids. This report rated the condition of the airport runway as poor and identified that in order to keep the facility operating, at some point over $3 million would be needed in runway and taxiway repaving. As at 2011, a recommended $3.6 million was necessary to augment the facility to accommodate larger planes and provide more up-to-date navigation aids and terminal amenities. The current water and sewer servicing capacity is not able to accommodate further development, and represents an undetermined amount in upgrade costs to do so.
As part of this study, the selected consulting firm will be required to determine if the airport has a sufficient or necessary business case to exist, not only for the municipality but other agencies and entities, and if so, they will be required to develop a comprehensive and realistic strategy and tactical plan for development, investment, and funding opportunities that can achieve it.
“A significant component of this initiative is hearing from the local aviation community and the public at large about the Golden Municipal Airport,” explained Wilsgard. “Over the next several months, whether it be through the commissioned consultancy or directly to the Town of Golden, we want to hear your thoughts about our airport.”
The Town of Golden is seeking proposals from qualified consulting firms from now until noon on March 12. The project is to be completed no later than December 31, 2020. For detailed information about the request for proposal, visit