History of Squamish Airport

Airport Day 2017 from the air

The Squamish Flying Club (SFC) is a registered society (1970) located on a leased portion of property at the Squamish Municipal Airport.

The SFC managed the 52 acres of the airport lands until 2002 when the task of management became a burden on the membership of the Club. In 1991 the SFC sub-leased a 3.8 acre parcel with a defined area to the northeast of the tarmac which included the Club House, the Quanset and   the T-Hangar.  The only prior outside aid to the airport property has been the asphalt runway and tarmac plus the one resurface contract which were grants in aid from the Federal and Provincial governments. The heavy duty maintenance required over the years had been donated in most by local contractors.  In 1991 by request of the SFC the general maintenance became the responsibility of the District of Squamish.

Squamish Airport in 1979

The light airport maintenance including the windsocks has been provided by the club membership over the years, both in terms of funding and labour. The Municipality (DOS) has become involved in some minimum licensing requirements since 1991 with the changes to the head lease, but never to the satisfaction of the user.  The municipality is now responsible for all maintenance with the exception of the leased properties and since July 1, 2009 has taken a leadership role.

On July 1, 2009 new sub-leases were signed by airport users for land use responsibilities. The SFC assets within the lease parameters are the Quanset Hangar (built by the membership) and rented on a monthly basis to Black Tusk Helicopter (which was the result of a special request by the DOS to relocate a helicopter operation out of the business park in the1990’s), the T-Hangar that was built and paid for by the users (only rented to active members of the SFC) and the Club house which is the second version with the first being destroyed by fire.  The electrical system, drain field system, taxi ways and the water collection system are also the result of membership initiatives.   The taxiways are now part of the common property and the SFC is only responsible for the feeders to the tie-downs and T-Hangar in the North East of the property

On the 6th of April 2010 the DOS amended Bylaw 2012 of 2007 (Olympic Fees) to include landing, tie-down and Photo/Filming fees for all aircraft operations not considered associated with the land leases at the airport.

The SFC has permits to operate an above ground fuel dispenser system to provide fuel for members only….pilot must fill the aircraft.

With the DOS putting the leasing program into action on July 1st of 2009 the airport can now develop within the framework of the town plan. The aviation fraternity in the past has taken a back seat to almost all programs in the corridor. The event of 2010  provided some interest and opportunities for the airport.  Public opinions have been favorable of late and as long as the users play by the rules (noise, flight routes, etc) the future will be positive for airport activities.

The thought of the day is   “The opportunity for something to happen is now… the aviation field offers vast employment opportunities, but cannot be tapped without a strategic plan to lay out airport land use for those potential entrepreneurs at a reasonable cost. ”

The SFC is leading an initiative to formulate an Airport Advisory Group made up of all airport stake holders, DOS personnel and community members to provide assist in the formulation of future operations.   The DOS does not agree to an independent group providing the leadership at this time so have assigned a staff member as the temporary Airport Mgr and that person is our contact and sounding board.