Town councillors in Port Hawkesbury have voted to send letters to various political leaders regarding the future of the Allan J. MacEachen airport.
At June’s regular town council meeting Tuesday night, Brenda Chisholm-Beaton, Port Hawkesbury’s mayor, said Cape Breton-Canso MP Rodger Cuzner confirmed federal officials are considering a funding proposal for a new airport in Inverness to service the Cabot Links and Cabot Cliffs golf courses.
She said Cuzner wouldn’t confirm how much it would cost, but various reports indicate it would be an $18 million project.
After the meeting, Chisholm-Beaton told The Hawk officials with the federal government should not get involved.
“If it is a sustainable business model, of course, the private sector will do what the private sector does,” she said. “Public money should not be used to fund that airport.”
Chisholm-Beaton said an Inverness airport would bankrupt Celtic Air Services, the current operator of the Port Hawkesbury facility, and she doesn’t believe it would be sustainable without public funding.
She said a second airport in Inverness Co. doesn’t make sense.
“Having two airports one hour apart is just not (economically sustainable),” she said. “It’s not viable.”
Chisholm-Beaton said collaboration is the best approach, and town officials would be happy to sit down with provincial, federal, Cabot and local airport reps to determine the best way forward.
Town officials voted to send letters to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Premier Stephen McNeil and Bernadette Jordan, the federal minister of rural economic development, to voice their opposition during Tuesday’s meeting.