By Doug Martin, EAA 657164
The Forestry and Fire Fighting divisions of the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) will invest $12.2 million in a move of their headquarters to the Haliburton/Stanhope Airport. As well as constructing a new building, they will be moving two helicopters and two Twin Otters, which have already been based at Stanhope for the last 12 years.
Seasonal firefighting staff will number around 50. The development also will include 20 new 42-foot enclosed T-hangars with electricity supply and washrooms nearby. There will be four blocks of five hangars each. The taxiway layout will be expanded and a high-speed optical fibre network will be installed for the anticipated business park.
The Algonquin Highlands township will install a webcam for security as well as marketing. Interested parties will be able to watch progress on the construction through this online camera.
Existing hangar tenants will be unable to access the hangars during early August, but they will have the option of using tiedowns during this period at no cost. The brand-new hangars will cost the tenants $2,500 a year and they will be finished in white on both walls and floor. They have been designed to accommodate possible future installation of solar panels. Each hangar will be equipped with a 2,000-pound winch attached to the back wall for pulling an aircraft into the hangar, and each will have both interior and exterior metal cladding and insulation.
The township's work of clearing the land, building roadways, taxiways and hangars is expected to be completed late this summer, allowing the MNR to begin construction. Anticipated move-in date for the MNR is sometime in 2015.