March 29, 2022 By Kevin McBain, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, LighthouseNOW Progress Bulletin
“There are a thousand rumours and I can’t comment on any of them,” Region of Queens Municipality (RQM) Mayor Darlene Norman told LighthouseNOW regarding a possible sale of the South Shore Regional Airport in Greenfield, which RQM owns.
The question to the mayor from LighthouseNOW came in light of a social media post by the Nova Scotia Drag Racing Association (NSDRA), which uses the airport runway for several drag race events throughout the summer.
“The NSDRA has been informed by the Region of Queens Municipality that they have a potential buyer for the airport and surrounding property. The NSDRA has met with the potential new owner and we are hopeful a new contract can be negotiated. Please keep checking back for further updates,” the NSDRA reported on the Greenfield Dragway Facebook page March 3.
LighthouseNOW reached out to several members of the NSDRA’s board via social media messaging and email for further comment. NSDRA director Scott Sprague responded by email on March 11, stating, “At this stage of the discussion we are not able to make comment, unfortunately. We may be able to provide an update in the coming days.”
The South Shore Regional Airport was established in 1970 with the participation of the Town of Liverpool and the Municipality of Queens. It is now largely managed by the South Shore Flying Club, which was formed in 2015.
The club has two lease agreements with RQM, one for the use of the terminal building as a clubhouse and an additional land lease to enable the construction of hangars. The leases are set to expire in 2029.
When asked about the potential sale, the flying club’s president, Glenn Parlee, told LighthouseNOW, “We’ve heard about it, but anything would be hearsay at this point, which I don’t want to get involved with.”
Norman explained that when any municipal property goes up for sale, it would be first addressed in the discussion part of the council meeting agenda, and the following council meeting next steps would be up for recommendation.
Last year, RQM allocated $50,000 toward the installation of an aviation gas system to encourage more aircraft traffic to the airport.