Innisfail airport wants more camping

Red Deer County wants to talk to all airport users before making campground decision

A proposal for a campground at Innisfail’s Big Bend Airport has been put in a holding pattern.

Central Alberta Gliding Club president Leo Deschamps went before Red Deer County’s municipal planning commission for approval of a seven-RV site campground at the airport just northwest of Innisfail.

The additional sites are needed because of the number of users at the busy airport, which is also used by Innisfail Flying Club, Skydive Big Sky and ultra-light pilots, said Deschamps on Tuesday.

However, planning staff recommended the request be turned down because the maximum 20 campground sites allowed under the Campground Minor designation were previously approved. Skydive Big Sky made that application and oversees the campsites, which are well used by its members and customers.

County manager Curtis Herzberg said the municipality is in a unique position because as owner of the airport it serves as landlord.

Rather than consider multiple campground applications, it makes more sense to sit down with all of the airport user groups to discuss camping options.

The county is reluctant to have a situation where there are multiple campgrounds run by different groups on the same piece of land.

Coun. Connie Huelsman, whose division includes the airport, hopes to see a compromise worked out.

“I’m just hoping we can find a middle ground,” said Huelsman.

The Innisfail Flying Club was the airport’s original users and it would be unfortunate if the club was not able to have its own camping..

“I would move to defer (the application) to see if we can work something out that would mutually benefit both parties.”

Council voted unanimously to hold off on making a decision until airport user groups are consulted.



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