Now that the dust has settled on the announcement of the closure of Buttonville Airport. I decided to see what new news or plans surfaced for the lands.
Derek Sifton, the current owner/manager of YKZ has been quoted as saying:
- The airport could close anytime in the next three to 10 years, Mr. Sifton said, adding more likely in three to five years. (Source)
- He said there is an average of 170,000 aircraft movements at Buttonville every year and that Pickering would be an “easy transfer” for the outgoing airport. (Source)
The idea being that the airport operations will move to the as yet un-built Pickering Airport. If construction hasn’t started by now, I’m not sure how Mr. Sifton will be able to move operations in time for the closure of Buttonville.
However, other airports are already preparing for the mass migration out of Buttonville:
- “We’re seeing more tenants coming here [to Brantford airport] because they’re not welcome anymore in Hamilton or Buttonville,” said operations manager Mark Culshaw. (Source)
- Tatham adds that Collingwood’s airport is trying to position itself to take on some of the air traffic that will leave Buttonville when that airport closes. (Source)
- With the closing of Buttonville Airport in Markham in the next few years, many opportunities exist for potential growth at Muskoka. A number of airports in the region are in the process of expanding or upgrading their facilities to take advantage of these opportunities. (Source)
The closing of YKZ is a great opportunity for a lot of other airports in the region. However, the single airport that I’m most interested in, also seems to be the quietest. Markham airport, which is just a few kms north east of Buttonville has been mum on any expansion plans. I think it would be a perfect candidate to replace Buttonville.
It will be interesting to see how things play out over the next few years or so. Buttonville was the only airport in the GTA that catered to general aviation (both private and commercial operations). Any other option now, falls outside of the GTA (Pickering, Brantford, Collingwood, Muskoka, etc..). Shame.