One resident of Saxon Street is “gobsmacked” that a proposed airpark development could even be considered in the Canning area.
Speaking to Kings County council on June 3, Ernest Cadegan isn’t against a new airport, but it shouldn’t be located on prime farmland.
“This is not happening on Saxon Street,” he said. “Please, have an airport, sounds like a fabulous idea, but I am absolutely gobsmacked – gobsmacked – that such a thing could possibly be considered on Saxon Street.”
He told council most people know very little about it at this point, but he believes there would be thousands opposed.
North East Kings Citizens Group spokesman Soren Bondrup-Nielsen said they believe it’s essential that a new airport location be picked that does not impact agricultural land. He also expressed concerns for migratory birds in the vicinity and potential safety issues for pilots and their planes.
Although it has yet to be considered by Kings County council, a proposal has been circulated by Gordon Squires of the Waterville Airport Co-operative Limited for a new airpark at 1672 Saxon St. This could include a 3,500-foot runway with room to expand, a terminal building, hangars, RV spaces, residential home and hangar lots and more.
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Jim Petrie’s farm is located next door to the proposed airpark site. He’s fearful of the possibility of land expropriation. He said they’ve made a big investment in the land and would hate to lose it.
“The quality of the land is second to none,” Petrie said, pointing out that there are other options, such as 14 Wing Greenwood.
Kings County Federation of Agriculture president Hank Bosveld said farmland in Hillaton is “top-notch.” He said Nova Scotia is vulnerable when it comes to the food supply and wouldn’t be surprised if Nova Scotia ran out of local food within a week if there were a major catastrophe that stopped shipments.
“It is important that we keep our agricultural land in production because we all need to eat to survive,” he said.
Warden Diana Brothers said council has been receiving a lot of email from residents on Saxon Street and they committed to letting them make comments about the airport relocation business case terms of reference following debate at the June 3 session. She told the citizens she wants them to have some comfort level that the Saxon Street airpark proposal has yet to be dealt with.
“Council has never said we are going to put an airport on Saxon Street,” Brothers said. “We haven’t reviewed the proposal, nor has staff.”
Brothers said the project proponents have requested to make a presentation to council, but that has yet to be arranged.
Coun. Wayne Atwater asked if the owner of the subject land could fly in and out now anyhow. Brothers said anything happening now on Saxon Street in that regard is permitted.
Area councillor Kim MacQuarrie said she has received more than 40 phone calls on the matter to date.