Update: Golden Municipal Airport Economic Viability Study Print Article Font Size
We had an overwhelming response to the public engagement phase of the Golden Municipal Airport Economic Viability Study so we thought we’d share an update with residents about what’s been done so far, and what’s happening next with the project.
 
Public Engagement
Public and stakeholder consultation for the project ended on August 31. Over 50 people were interviewed directly, 65 people attended the virtual information session and over 600 people responded to the online survey.
 
Next Steps
Our consultant HM Aero Aviation Inc. is currently developing an economic impact assessment and business case report based on the results of public and stakeholder input, research and comparative contexts of similar airports in Canada, the airports current use, and trends in the aviation industry.
 
At Council’s regular meeting of October 20, HM Aero Aviation Inc. will present its findings and recommendations regarding the Golden Municipal Airport, at that time Council will deliberate and eventually determine the direction for this facility.  
 
Purpose of the Study
The Airport Economic Viability Study is a Council strategic priority for this term of office. The purpose of the study is to determine the best way forward for the continued operation of the Golden Municipal Airport.
 
As part of this study, HM Aero Aviation Inc. has been tasked with examining 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, will be required to develop a comprehensive and realistic strategy and tactical plan for development, investment, and funding opportunities that can achieve it.
 
This initiative is being funded through a specific grant from the Province.
 
Council’s Intent:
The value and importance of municipal infrastructure and services such as water and wastewater utilities, roads, and fire protection are easily qualified as societal necessities, and not generally questioned in investment, maintenance and renewal planning. But an amenity like a municipal airport is not so easily measured in value. Unlike other infrastructure, airports do not necessarily provide clear benefits to all taxpayers, demonstrate sufficient value for their cost, and their depth of worth crosses both economic and social sectors. 
 
Without conducting this study, only limited technical statistics and a great deal of anecdotal information about the airport was available. Council needed a professional firm to provide a far better understanding of its relative economic and social value to the community, because only by doing so would its future be clear, allowing Council to make an informed and defensible decision. This decision will ultimately come down to two options when compared to the needs of other critical infrastructure: money spent either maintaining and enhancing the airport, or winding it down.
 
It is has been the purpose of this initiative to clearly determine the airport’s level of economic, social and otherwise intrinsic value to the community. Knowing this will give Town Council the ability to make an informed decision about its future.