Recently, the airstrip owned by Kokanee Springs Golf Resort in CrawfordBay was decommissioned. That means that no more planes or other aircraft will be landing in Crawford Bay, now or in the future.
Mainstreet spoke with Richard Bertram, KSR’s General Manager, and learned some more details about the decommissioning. Unlike with a road, where earth movement take place and water bars or gating will be installed, a decommissioned airstrip means that NAV CAN (a private, non-share capital corporation that owns and operates Canada’s civil air navigation service) will show the landing strip as non-functioning and pilots will have to re-route or make other landing arrangements elsewhere. Aircraft may not land without permission from the manager/owner of an landing strip, and KSR has officially changed the flight designation from (2 years ago) “permission required to land” to non-functioning.
Bertram said that the decision was a financial one and that it no longer made good economic sense to pay the insurance and maintain an airstrip that has become very under-utilized. When asked why it’s so under-utilized now, Bertram replied that it is probably for multiple reasons, including better highway infrastructure than in the old days and a changing age demographic, (fewer baby-boomers with pilot’s licenses and planes today than in the past). He mentioned that there used to be groups of pilots and users that regularly donated money to help offset the cost of insurance and maintenance, but they are also no longer using the strip. It’s just too costly now.
Bertram says that there are no plans to develop the airstrip land into anything other than hay-growth at this time. KSR continues to work with the Nature Conservancy Trust to help preserve and protect the wetland area and he says that the airstrip will likely just grow over.