After years of dormancy, Vanderhoof’s 50-year-old flying club is starting again.
With plans to build a temporary hangar as soon as possible to house the club’s recently-purchased airplane for flying school classes, the Vanderhoof Flying Club is currently working with the district council for a new lease at the municipal airport, said Jim Mitchell from the club’s maintenance committee.
Including new boundaries and the implementation of a $2.00 daily plane parking fee, the proposed lease will allow the flying club to provide a home for the membership’s 36 planes and conduct maintenance work on the airport’s grounds, said the club’s president Royce Chaff.
“We are trying to prepare for winter, and we have to look after our parking area,” Chaff said, as the historical lease shows unclear boundaries for the club’s operation and the unmaintained rough terrain can cause safety issues for smaller planes.
The flying club will also look to share the space with Vanderhoof’s air cadets, who have been recently displaced from their original home as the property changed hands, Chaff added.
“We’re looking at the 2016 air show as well, and trying to build support and get more interest in flying in general,” he said.
However, the new lease may take more than a few weeks to finalize, as the district looks to expand the airport, said Tom Clement, the district’s Chief Administrative Officer.
“We’re looking to get more land from the [Agricultural Land Reserve] for airport service,” Clement said, as the present airport was originally taken from agricultural land surrounding the district and was bought from the federal government.
“We can only give them what we can use,” he said. “So once we get a plan.”
Clement added that the district is actively working on the issue.
“We want to do something to help the flying club.”