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Joint Release

The sky’s the limit for Lake Simcoe Regional Airport

First stop… New York City

Midhurst/November 27, 2019 – The County of Simcoe and City of Barrie hosted community partners today to celebrate the soaring potential of the Lake Simcoe Regional Airport (LSRA) and to learn more about a unique tourism opportunity coming to Simcoe County.

Starting January 2020, the County of Simcoe will acquire an increased ownership stake in the LSRA and together with the City of Barrie, the two municipalities will oversee growth and expansion at the airport. The County will make long-term investments towards elements of the LSRA strategic plan, which includes completing required studies, consultations, and approvals to expand the runway and support the development of a business park and infrastructure on the site, among other growth and job creation initiatives.

During the event, guests learned more about a new air charter service beginning in September 2020 that will allow residents to fly from Simcoe County to New York City. Details on the package, which includes return airfare and three nights' accommodation, are available on CWT Vacations/Blowes & Stewart Travel Group Ltd. (formerly known as Carlson Wagonlit Travel) website at www.carlsonwagonlit.net.

New York City is the first stop as growth at the LSRA takes off. Attendees at the event learned that the sky is the limit as CWT Vacations/Blowes & Stewart Travel Group Ltd. and other tourism operators look to introduce further passenger flight opportunities out of the airport. LSRA is an attractive option due to its convenient location in Simcoe County, proximity to the GTA, size and border services opportunities.

LSRA is a member of the Southern Ontario Airport Network (SOAN). Brought together in 2015 and formalized in 2017, SOAN is a forum for 12 of the leading commercial airports in the region to work together, support growth and amplify the overall impact of air service. The investment in the expansion of LSRA will allow Simcoe County to help meet forecasted demands in air service across Southern Ontario and thereby increase the competitiveness of our region, province and country.

The County of Simcoe and Township of Oro-Medonte have each held 20 per cent of shares in the LSRA since 2014, with the City of Barrie being a 60 per cent shareholder. As of January 2020, the County will acquire an additional 70 per cent of shares and become the majority shareholder with 90 per cent stake, while the City of Barrie will maintain 10 per cent of shares. 

Quotes

“The LSRA represents a world of potential for Simcoe County, and today's announcement confirmed that the sky is truly the limit when it comes to the future impact that the airport will have on our economy, tourism sector and the growth of our communities. We look forward to working with the City of Barrie to further develop this municipal asset to generate investment in our communities, create new jobs and to offer our residents exciting transportation options. Thanks to CWT Vacations/Blowes & Stewart Travel Group Ltd. for bringing this opportunity to Simcoe County and connecting our residents to New York City from our own back yard."
– County of Simcoe Warden George Cornell    

"It's a big step forward to have service from Lake Simcoe Regional Airport to a global destination like NYC. This service is another sign of Barrie's growth and the importance of the airport to our region."
– City of Barrie Mayor Jeff Lehman

“The initial support we have received from the County of Simcoe and Lake Simcoe Regional Airport has been exceptional. We look forward to continuing to work together in the future, and to continued growth at the Lake Simcoe Regional Airport."
Scott Stewart, Owner/President, CWT Vacations/Blowes & Stewart Travel Group Ltd.

Quick Facts:

  • Overall airport site and lands of 595 acres (owned)
  • 15 fully serviced commercial development lots available
  • 200 acres of additional lands immediately available for commercial development
  • CBSA Commercial Port-of-Entry for passengers and freight
  • Cumulative 100,000 sq. ft. of commercial hangar space
  • Consistently in the top 5 busiest airports without control towers nationally according to Statistics Canada
  • Currently 11 businesses and companies based at the airport directly employing over 70 people
  • Phase 1 Strategic Plan Action items to occur in the next decade include:
    • Extend runway from the current 6,001 ft. (1,829 m) to 7,000 ft. (2,134 m) and widen the runway from the current 100 ft. (30 m) to 150 ft. (45 m)
    • Undertake Airport Certification and Registered Airport Zoning Protection
    • Enhance Electronic and Visual Aids including the installation of an approach lighting system
    • Undertake a Master Servicing Plan for un-serviced commercial development areas
    • Enhance airport support services and related infrastructure
    • Prepare business development strategy
    • To download the Lake Simcoe Regional Airport Strategic Plan - April 2018, go to https://simcoe.civicweb.net/document/45119.

 

About County of Simcoe
County of Simcoe is composed of sixteen member municipalities and provides crucial public services to County residents in addition to providing paramedic and social services to the separated cities of Barrie and Orillia. Visit our website at simcoe.ca.­­­­­­

About City of Barrie
Barrie is an exciting, caring and progressive community that 148,000 people call home. Situated 90 km north of the Greater Toronto Area on beautiful Kempenfelt Bay, Barrie offers an excellent lifestyle and multitude of recreational opportunities. We are committed to the growth of prosperity of Central Ontario's leading City and most dynamic waterfront community.

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CONTACTS

Chris Hedley
Public Relations Consultant
County of Simcoe, Service Simcoe Branch
705-726-9300 ext. 1030
705-715-7654 (mobile)
Chris.Hedley@simcoe.ca

Collin Matanowitsch
Manager, Public Relations
County of Simcoe, Service Simcoe Branch
705-726-9300 ext. 1430
705-734-8386 (mobile)
Collin.Matanowitsch@simcoe.ca