A plane of a long-ago era, that used to fly into Cooking Lake Airport. This is the same type of aircraft that was flown by Canadian Ace Billy Bishop.
Cooking Lake, AB – On November 26, the Edmonton Regional Airports Authority (Edmonton Airports) announced that the ownership and operation of the Cooking Lake Airport was transferred to the Cooking Lake Airport Condominium Association, which represents the owners of more than 130 aircraft and 70 hangars based at the airport.
While the Edmonton International Airport is designed primarily for scheduled passenger service, three small airports in the region provide service for air charter, flight training and recreational aircraft: Cooking Lake (20 minutes from Leduc via the Henday or Highways 21 and 14), Wetaskiwin and Camrose.
While the official transfer of the airport occurred during an AGM on October 1st, Edmonton Airports will continue to remain actively involved in supporting the airport over the coming months as the Association gains operational proficiency and begins moving forward with its expansion plans including the development of new hangar lots.
“The planning for the ownership transition began several years ago. As one of the busiest small airports in Canada, it is critical to do this right to ensure safety and not impede air traffic while also setting the airport up to be self-sustaining over the long term,” said Jim Johannsson, president of the Cooking Lake Airport Condominium Association. “It has been a complex undertaking and we are deeply grateful to Edmonton Airports for their expert guidance and support in making the transition.”
A noteworthy fact is that this is the first Condominium Association in Canada to own a small airport. Owners of private planes calling Cooking Lake Airport ‘home’ can now proudly state that they in fact, are airport owners. Currently the home to two flight schools, Cooking Lake Airport is an “uncontrolled” airport like most of the 500+ small airports in Canada: this means that without a tower and air traffic controllers, and with only a single runway, pilots have to abide by standard traffic patterns and arrival and departure procedures that ensure the total safety of flight traffic at Cooking Lake Airport.
Diane Trenn, vice-president of Operations for Edmonton Airports, highlighted the rich history of the airport and the vital role it plays in the Edmonton region. “For the past 86 years, the Cooking Lake Airport has been the starting point of some of the greatest adventures in Canadian aviation history. Today, the airport is primarily a home base for recreational aircraft and small commercial operators,” said Trenn. “The time is now right for those aircraft and hangar owners to take over the stewardship of this historic airport and chart its course for future generations of pilots.”
Built in 1926, Cooking Lake Airport has been a popular destination for Edmonton area aviation enthusiasts for more than 80 years. Some come to watch the airplanes and some come to fulfill their dreams of learning to fly, while others use their aircraft to better manage their business interests across Western Canada. “While they are no longer making aviation history, many of the pilots based at Cooking Lake are using the airport as a starting point for their own great lifetime adventures. Flying an airplane should be on everyone’s bucket list and Cooking Lake Airport is one of the best places in Canada to do it,” added Johannsson.
Local pilots and plane owners looking into new storing facilities can contact Jim Johannsson directly at 780-920-9519 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Future developments at the Cooking Lake Airport will be under watch and reported in this weekly publication.