Kincardine Municipal Airport celebrates 50 years

The Kincardine Municipal Airport celebrated its 50th anniversary on Saturday, August 21st (2022).

Airport Manager, Stephen Rouse said that the anniversary had to be delayed due to COVID-19 restrictions.  “The planning committee was thrilled however, to be able to hold the anniversary this year in-person even though a little late.”

A recent media release said that Stanley Pickles of Kincardine, who was involved with planning the Anniversary event and with the Airport for 30 years, is so passionate about aviation that he created a book about the Airport’s history that includes photographs of activities that have taken place over the past 50 years. In the release, Pickles said, “A local airport is part of a community and a link to the history of Aviation in Canada and the world. I wanted to create this book to document the legacy of the Kincardine Municipal Airport.”

Pickles provided some fun facts about the Kincardine Municipal Airport:

· The Kincardine Municipal Airport CYKM, is a Transport Canada registered airport located 3 kilometres north of Kincardine on Highway 21, currently managed by Phoenix Airport Management Group Inc. and occupies 120 acres, overlooking beautiful Lake Huron.
· It serves as a base for sightseeing, corporate jets, air ambulance services and recreational pilots.
· There are two paved runways with a full ARCAL system along with NDB and GPS LPV approaches.
· July 1980 – following a report by Paragon engineering, paving of the runway and lighting installation was completed thanks to funding from Local, Provincial, and Federal Governments.

Airport Managers:

Carol Little (former Mgr. for 17 yrs.) – photo submitted

· Ron Fenton, 1970 – 1990
· Carol Little, 1990 – 2007
· Blake Evans, 2007 -2019 (deceased)
· Stephen Rouse, 2019 – present

Events Hosted:
· 10 airshows have been held over the years including participation from Snowbirds, RCAF Downsview, RCAF Trenton
· Young Eagles and COPA for Kids programmes have introduced several hundred young people to aviation through a first ride
· ABC weekends have brought airplanes, bikes and cars to the airport for a celebration of the community

Other Activities:
· Fly-in breakfasts, Trillium fly-in for the Massed Bands to raise funds for charity
· an active COPA chapter to organize such events, an active remote controlled aircraft club
· awareness sessions for local schools and air cadets
· open house and other events for the community and charity
· C180/185 convention bringing visitors from the US and Canada
· Interprovincial Air tour bringing in 55 plane

The Kincardine Airport gates were opened to the public from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Saturday so that the public could take in the static display of aircraft and vintage cars. Among the aircraft on display was an OPP helicopter and several planes depicting an earlier era of flight.

For larger view, Click on Image
(photos submitted)

MP Ben Lobb

Huron-Bruce MP Ben Lobb also dropped by with congratulations for the airport.

Over the years, the airport has seen many changes including extension and improved paving of the runway to allow for larger and/or jet aircraft.  The runway improvements has allowed for more corporate air travel and interconnecting flights.

In 2012, under the direction of then-CAO Murray Clarke, a new logo and website were designed for the Kincardine Airport.

                                                  New logo

The new logo depicts a sunset, the water and a light jet aircraft, designed by Scott Evans of Evans Media, Kincardine.

Murray Clarke (file photo)

At that time, CAO Clarke said that the launch of a dedicated, attractive and informative website for the airport was an important initiative in conjunction with the new logo, signage and brochures.  Clarke felt that the airport would benefit from more extensive public and user information and promotional materials that would highlight the airport proximity to the town.

In 2015, what was known as the ‘airport house’ had long been in contention until Kincardine Council made the decision to have it demolished before the opportunity arose to move the house to an off-site location.  According to Clarke at the time, the decision to sell the house had been the original hope for the structure in an avoidance of demolishment.  He felt it was a win-win situation as it eliminated the need for the Municipality to manage the demolition waste and also eliminated the waiving of tipping fees to the tune of some $9,000.

The many changes made at Kincardine Airport through its 50 years has made it a viable transportation hub.

At the anniversary celebration, a souvenir gift bag was also handed out to the first 250 guests and everyone had the opportunity to enjoy a slice of history with a special anniversary cake.

                       Cutting the Anniversary Cake (photo submitted)