Several years ago the Oshawa Airport was at risk of closing. But with strong support from COPA National and COPA Flight 70, the situation was reversed.
COPA President Kevin Psutka and several local COPA Flight 70 members convinced the city council to have an economic impact study done.
As a result, Mayor John Gray of Oshawa and several members of council became supporters of the airport and what soon followed was a real airport boom.
Twenty year leases were offered to companies operating on airport lands and some federal money became available for upgrades.
A new AWOS system was installed, taxiways were improved and upgrades were made to runway and taxiway lighting, including the approach lights (PAPIs). Private companies were allowed to build new hangars.
The formation of the Oshawa Airport Lyons Club was an unforeseen result of all this growth.
After maturing for a year, President Bruce and Secretary Susan Fowler of the Lyons Club decided that an Easter Egg hunt on the airport would be a good way to start their fundraising and community service activities. Specifically, the funds raised by this event support the Oakville guide dog school.
Easter Sunday turned out to be a warm weather record breaker.
The ramp area was closed to aircraft and opened to the participating public for parking. Hot dogs were sold, while a disc jockey supplied music. “Happy” the clown, taught pre-school children how to do the Bunny Hop.
At 1:30 p.m. COPA Flight 70 member, Lee Arsenault, touched down on runway 22 with the Easter Bunny finding the cockpit in the Diamond DA20 just a little tight.
After the Easter Bunny had de-planed and shook hands with many children, the families and kids were allowed into the grass tie-down area to hunt for Easter eggs.
It was hard to tell if the kids were more impressed with finding chocolate eggs or seeing “real” airplanes up close. For those kids that didn’t want to search for eggs the Easter Bunny handed out Easter treats, but the line-up was long.
Most families that participated had pre-school age children. This is the exact target group that the airport is trying to impress as a good neighbor. This Easter egg hunt should serve as an inspiration to all COPA Flights who find their local airport under attack by politicians and developers. You can make a difference.
NEW CAFÉ OPENING Since the Oshawa City Council adopted a pro-airport policy, the Oshawa airport has become a hotbed of growth and development.
An example of this growth took place on Monday, April 12.
The “Peanuts Runway Café” will officially close and open under the new name “The Skyway Café Oshawa.” Lissa, the proprietor of the Runway Café is starting a family and moving into the landscaping business.
New owners, Susan and Steve, will be continuing the café operation but with a few changes. Both these people have worked for the radio station located in the airport terminal building so they know both the people they will be serving and the airport environment.
Initially it should be business as usual but with an expanded menu. Currently the hours of operation are Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., but this is under review. Opening on Saturdays is also being considered and this may happen on a trial basis sometime in May.
Susan and Steve would like to encourage all pilots and aviation personal to drop in and give them a look. Oshawa is one of the few airports located right inside a medium sized city with public transportation right on the door step.