A recently announced new partnership is bringing new life to the Goderich Municipal Airport.
At an event held at the Beach Street Station on Monday, September 12, a partnership was announced between the town and Revival Consulting Inc. The event was to mark the signing of a new agreement between Revival and Goderich which includes plans to have Revival bring its owned and managed airline, air taxi provider, flight school, maintenance service provider, and consulting businesses to the airport.
Myles Murdock, the acting Goderich Mayor, says the agreement, which is for up to 40 years doled out in 10-year renewable increments, is a major boost to the town and the airport.
"It provides us with four modes of viable transportation for our town and for the county. Having an airport available that's regional in nature provides a lot of opportunities, economic opportunities, for not just Goderich, but for the entire county," said Murdock.
Additionally, Murdock says he's looking forward to Revival Consulting Inc. taking over a larger role in the operation of the airport.
"Up until this point, the town of Goderich has been absorbing the cost, and now we have a major player coming in, where they're not only gonna be running an airline's headquarters, but also aircraft maintenance and aviation courses, and a few other things, including a taxi service," Murdock added.
Part of the plan will see Revival introduce an air taxi service called Canada 1, as well as a headquarters for their Royal Canadian Airlines service, which flies out of Toronto and Hamilton, but will be headquartered in Goderich. There will also be the Canadian Pilot Academy Flight School, which will bring aspiring pilots to the area to train.
Waseem Javed, President and CEO of Revival Consulting Incorporated, was on hand for the ribbon cutting ceremony. He announced that Goderich's late mayor, John Grace, who passed away tragically this summer, will have a plane named after him. The lease for Revival at the Goderich Municipal Airport begins this November, with plans to have Canada 1 taxi planes, pilot training planes and Royal Canadian Airlines flights to the Middle East and Asia to be in the air within a year.
On top of the immediate benefits that the agreement hopes to achieve for both parties, Mayor Murdock notes there could be long-term benefits from this, as well. He says with the amount of pilots that will come to train in the area, it could entice some to permanently settle in the area.
"Certainly by providing them the opportunity to be here for 6-8 months to train, they're going to end up making affiliations and learning about Huron County and the town, and I think it's a very desirable place to live, and I would think that, you know, we need immigration in the worst way and this is another way of achieving that result," Murdock said.
In terms of maintenance costs and income moving forward, Murdock says the lease agreement basically states that payments from Revival for use of the site and sale of fuel and things like that will come to the town. However, overall maintenance costs at the site, which needs repairs to the runways, could potentially be a shared venture.
"It would be nice to be able to share that cost. Especially if we have not only those four businesses, but potentially other businesses coming in to take advantage of this revival or rejuvenation of the airport," adds Murdock.