A permit was granted by County Council Monday that will open more business opportunities for the North Peace Bracket Racing Association at the airport in Beaverlodge, already owned and operated by NPBRA.
President George Emmett says they want to build a hangar as a handful of people have approached them about storing planes.
“There’s some really beautiful planes in the area, for them, it’s a great place to come to,” he explained. “We want to be able to get them out there and find a spot to put a structure up so they can park there planes there. One of them is really interesting, a wood-frame canvass covered biplane that a gentleman has built.”
Emmett adds there has been interest in RV storage at the airport as well.
However, disgruntled landowners that surround the airport in Beaverlodge attended Monday’s council meeting too.
Judy Carrell says drag races in the summer produce decibels in her yard of 100-110. She adds it is dangerous, affecting her livelihood, and it needs to stop.
“They’ve got cars at the starting line that are 120 decibels. In my yard, that 120 decibels is 100 to 110.”
According to Carrell, in the workplace, employers are required to provide protective ear wear to workers at 75 decibels.
“Drag racing is like shooting a gun. It is on-and-off, on-and-off randomly. When you’re living half a mile away, you have no idea when the next set of cars is going to be warming up their tires… If the North Peace Bracket Racing Association looked after the noise, you would never see us at another one of their development permit things. But if they’re not going to look after the noise, we’re going to make sure that everything else they do, they better be doing correctly.”
Some nearby landowners also believe the lack of regular air traffic is the reason for ongoing delays to a new hospital being built in Beaverlodge.
Emmett refutes that claim.
“We will always have it open as an airport. The contract said it had to be open for 10 years [as an airport]. It will be an airport forever, as far as we’re concerned.”
NPBRA purchased the Beaverlodge Airport for approximately $600,000 from the County of Grande Prairie in 2015.
(Photo courtesy of the North Peace Bracket Racing Association Facebook page)