The District of Houston office is supporting a Transport Canada licence to hold classe. (File photo/Houston Today)

The District of Houston office is supporting a Transport Canada licence to hold classe. (File photo/Houston Today)

Flight school gets support letter from District of Houston

A+R Aviation first approached the district more than a month ago

Flight school gets support letter

The prospect of growing a robust local aviation community has advanced a step with the District of Houston supporting a bid by a Vanderhoof-based flight school for a Transport Canada licence to hold classes at the district-owned airport.

The letter, however, is not a business or financial agreement between A+R Aviation Services and the district and that is something yet to be determined, a briefing document prepared for council has indicated.

“The overall strategy and direction for CAM5 [the official name of the airport] as well as flight school operational and logistical details can be determined through further discussions with A+R Aviation, the Houston Flying Club and the Houston Airport Society prior to deciding whether to sign an operating agreement,” the document added.

A+R Aviation first approached the district more than a month ago, saying the Houston airport is a perfect location for a flight school because the skies in the area are not crowded and costs for students would be less than at other facilities.

Also supporting the flight school bid is the Houston Flying Club which says a sale of fuel from increased use of the airport would produce a revenue stream to cover airport maintenance and improvements.

“Once fuel and a decent clubhouse are available, we expect to host numerous pilots seeking general aviation and commercial accommodation,” the club wrote in a letter to the district.

The club said its plans for the clubhouse structure include a new floor, interior and exterior paint, new toilets and welcome signs.

Additionally, the club would like to remove trees on the approach path to the runway at its southern end.

As of now the club has two active aircraft with hanger ownership leases, the District indicated in how the facility is now used. Helicopters use the airport regularly, an RCMP fixed wing aircraft makes regular stops and search and rescue volunteers also make use of the facility.

Aside from aviation uses, the airport is home to drag racing and mud bog events.

Drag racing event gets green light

Council has approved the use of the airport and District of Houston equipment to hold the Bulkley Valley Drag Racing Association’s annual Houston Drags event Aug. 12-14.

The races between cars, trucks and bikes have been a fixture for more than 20 years and the district swept the runway, cut the grass, provided use of the clubhouse there and supplied its water truck and its dump truck to haul away garbage.

“In 2018, the cost to prepare the grounds and supply the District-owned equipment did not exceed $4,400,” a briefing note from leisure services director Cassie Henrickson to council indicated.

Preparation for voting underway

Local government elections may not be until October 15 but the District of Houston has started preparations.

Deputy corporate services director Madelaine Swift has been appointed chief election officer and corporate services director Holly Brown deputy election officer.

With these appointments now in place, hiring of election workers, posting election notices and making advance voting and voting day arrangements can get underway when needed.