Niagara District Airport
In 2010, the Niagara District Airport underwent a major overhaul to its land and field operations in an effort to accommodate increased airport traffic.
A $12 million project funded by the federal, provincial, and regional governments, the Niagara District Airport oversaw a total revamp, including a new taxiway, a new 6,000 square foot terminal building, an encompassing of the airport access control, a main runway rehabilitation, and additional parking to meet the increased traffic levels. Also among the improvements, the Niagara District Airport was the first Canadian airport to add 100 per cent LED lighting to its airfield.
In addition to small personal aircrafts, the Niagara District Airport now accommodates major corporate jets.
“We are convinced that the Niagara Region, as a world famous destination, should be accessible by air,” Len O’Connor, Airport Manager with Niagara District Airport, told The Canadian Business Journal. “We know that we’re ready to play in the big leagues and as a regional airport we have everything in place with our approach systems and secure systems so that we can accommodate scheduled and charter passenger services.”
The Niagara District Airport believes it can continue to attract scheduled and charter operations that will bring in passengers from major locations like New York, Chicago, Winnipeg, Ottawa, and Montreal.
Ruedi Suter, Chair of the Niagara District Airport Commission, added, “If the Niagara Region didn’t have this airport, we would have to build one. It’s as simple as that. We stopped an old, small airport from falling apart. We have reinvented this airport, making the best of it to prepare ourselves as a real regional airport.”
Located in the Niagara Region, the Niagara District Airport is a popular destination for business and tourism travellers within the regional business community, from the nearby Greater Toronto Area as well as the bordering United States and Western New York.
O’Connor summarized, “Most of the traffic that comes in here, besides the small airplanes, we have numerous corporate jets that come in. The Niagara Region is also world famous so we have a lot of business travellers and business jets coming here.”
The surrounding business community and the local tourist attractions make the Niagara Region an ideal destination. Home to the tourism district of Niagara Falls and the rich vineyards and wineries of Niagara-on-the-Lake, the Niagara Region promotes a variety of scenic attractions that continue to pull visitors to the community. One example is the Niagara Region’s more than 60 wineries, representing a major local industry, that have driven significant traffic to the community over the years.
“With the tourism in this area, if you didn’t know where you were, you’d think you were in the middle of Italy amongst all the vineyards,” O’Connor beamed.
Steady Growth Ahead
Since 1929, the Niagara District Airport has been the hosting grounds of the St. Catharines Flying Club, a regional instructor of flying lessons and one of the oldest flying clubs in Canada. The Niagara District Airport is also home to National Helicopters, a service that offers tours over the nearby Niagara Falls.
Currently, 78 aircrafts are based at the Niagara District Airport, a significant change from 1941, when it was used as an air force pilot training station during the Second World War.
Through the 1960s and 1970s, the Niagara District Airport extended and paved its main runways and became a general aviation airport. Over the years, the Niagara District Airport has continued to grow its traffic levels and is now considered a medium-sized airport.
Most recently, Allied Aviation became the fixed based operator (FBO) of the Niagara District Airport. Allied Aviation recognizes the potential at the Niagara District Airport and this partnership demonstrates its confidence in the future growth of the facility.
Allied Aviation is a major player in the aviation industry and works alongside major international airports such as Lester B. Pearson International Airport (Toronto), LaGuardia Airport and John F. Kennedy International Airport (New York), and Montreal-Mirabel International Airport. As the FBO of the Niagara District airport, Allied Aviation provides fuel storage and supply, plane de-icing services, aircraft storage, passenger and pilot lounges, and a variety of other passenger support services.
“Allied Aviation has some huge projects all over the world, in countries like Ecuador. Allied Aviation came in here because they see the potential of this airport moving forward,” O’Connor concluded. “We’re delighted that they are here because as the airport progresses, Allied Aviation will progress with us.”