Town of Peace River to negotiate agreement with independent company to manage regional airport

The Town of Peace River will be opening negotiations to turn over management of the airport to an independent company.

Council unanimously passed a motion at a special meeting last night that calls for a divestment agreement to be drafted and brought back to council chambers for ratification at a future date.

The special meeting was called so that the town could update its four funding partners for the Peace River Regional Airport.

Elected leaders from: The Municipal District of Peace, The County of Northern Lights, Northern Sunrise County, and the Town of Grimshaw were invited by Peace River to hear an update as well as ask questions.

Peace River Chief Administrative Officer, Christopher Parker, explained the options to those in attendance, and Northern Sunrise County Reeve, Carolyn Kolebaba was the first to speak and feels that this process is becoming repetitive.

“I feel like it’s almost Groundhog Day,” Kolebaba pointed out in council chambers. “We came to one meeting and went through this and now we are coming back to a meeting and I am still not sure we have any more answers than I had in the past.”

Northern Sunrise County Reeve, Carolyn Kolebaba, addresses Peace River Council at special meeting. February 11, 2020. Photo supplied by Kenny Trenton.

Kolebaba, and other representatives from neighbouring municipalities, told council that scheduled passenger flights should be a major consideration for the airport’s future.

Parker pointed out that there are only a limited amount of airlines.

Due to a confidentiality agreement, the town cannot identify the organization it is negotiating with.

The three other options presented to council included: Finding a new airport manager to continue operations and implement a major cost saving program, council forms a company and turns over assets to that company, or the town gives 18 months notice required to cease operations.

– Kenny Trenton, Trending 55 Newsroom