Imminent closure of Montreal regional airport devastating for the aviation community – Montreal

Morale at Les Cèdres Airport is rather low among recreational pilots, staff and members of its flight school, Laurentide Aviation.

The airport, which has been a fixture in the local community and for aspiring pilots west of Montreal, is closing.

Its expected closing date is May 22.

“I am sad, not only for our flight school but also for the students, the young people who want to become pilots and also for the old aviation community in Quebec and in Canada as well,” said Yvan Albert, the owner. of Laurentide Aviation. World News.

The owner of the regional airport is no longer interested in maintaining it, according to a Facebook post from Airmen Quebecand the Hoy family is seeking to sell the land, which is valued at $150 million.

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“They can see the lure of more money, selling it to condos and houses,” Bernard Gervais, vice president of communications for Aviateurs Quebec, told Global News.

He fears that the closure of the regional airport will harm the future training of pilots as they have fewer options to learn and train. The impending closure of Les Cèdres is the second closure of a Greater Montreal regional airport in the past six years. The last was the Mascouche airport in 2016.

“Another one biting the dust,” said Gervais.

Les Cèdres Airport is located on a sprawling property in a rural area west of Montreal and serves the entire population of the island almost to the Ontario border.

“It’s the only airport where we can get full training to become a pilot,” Albert said.

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Retired pilot John Denney flew in and out of the airport hundreds of times, mostly in the 1990s. He remembers many commercial airline pilots who eventually flew for Air Canada passing through this airport.

He bought his first airplane from a small manufacturing plant next to the airfield. He says the closure of this airport is a great loss.

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“It was the main place to get your pilot’s license,” Denney said.

The airport has also been a driver for the local economy, attracting people to come to the area to do business.

“Companies can come here if they want to develop and use land or something like that,” Gervais said.

No one from the Hoy family responded to repeated requests from Global News for comment.

In a statement to Global News, Frédérica Dupuis, spokesperson for Transport Canada, wrote: “Transport Canada does not interfere in decisions related to airport closures, nor does it intervene in closures. The decision to close an airport rests with the owner.

Gervais first flew from Les Cèdres airport at the age of eight with his uncle.

He just hopes something can be done to prevent the airport from closing so he can continue to fly there beyond the scheduled closure on May 22.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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