PORT HASTINGS, Nova Scotia, Sept. 21, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — New upgrades to Allan J. MacEachen Airport will see the construction of a 10,000 square foot aircraft hangar and de-icing facility , providing the Straits region with greater access to timely emergency services – including LifeFlight planes – throughout the winter months.
The nearly $1 million investment by Celtic Air Services will allow the new hangar to accommodate aircraft with a wingspan of up to 70 feet. Celtic co-owners David Morgan and Trent Vichie today announced the privately funded improvements, calling them vital for the region.
“Community leaders have expressed their desire for these much-needed improvements that are integral to keeping local Nova Scotians safe,” Vichie said. “We are pleased to invest in this community and its people.”
Vichie, the CEO of EverWind Fuels which is finalizing plans to unlock a green hydrogen economy for Nova Scotia in nearby Point Tupper, said MacEachen airport upgrades are critical to security and sustainability of the region. “The region is experiencing significant growth. We know that as clean, green hydrogen becomes more widespread in the region, year-round air connectivity becomes more important,” Vichie said.
The news was welcomed by Nova Scotia’s Minister of Health and Wellness, the Hon. Michelle Thompson, who said, “The improved access to EHS Lifeflight services at Allan J. MacEachen Airport is a welcome change. The new infrastructure that allows our teams to operate in the winter will allow healthcare professionals to get to patients in need more efficiently and will certainly play an important role in improving our healthcare system.
EHS Lifeflight has two Sikorsky S76C+ helicopters and a King Air B200 twin-turboprop aircraft. On average, EHS Lifeflight performs more than 1,000 missions per year.
David Morgan, chairman of Celtic Air Services, says the new hangar and de-icing facility will attract new business and improve safety.
“The most significant flights that use our facilities are EHS LifeFlight operations,” Morgan said. “When they can’t land here because of the ice, it’s a heartbreaking feeling waiting for the weather to clear. We are thrilled to finally make these improvements to the airport and welcome winter air traffic of all types.
The plan will see construction begin in the fall of 2022 and is expected to be operational in early 2023.
“The Allan J MacEachen Regional Airport is a vital part of the road, rail and air transportation hub of the Strait and Western Cape Breton. Given the emerging green hydrogen industry, as well as the retention and attraction of other growing sectors like tourism, marine industries, transportation and manufacturing, these upgrades are an excellent news for the region.
-Mayor of Port Hawkesbury, Brenda Chisholm-Beaton
“Richmond County is attracting international attention as a potential center for hydrogen production. Our deep-water port, numerous pristine sites and maritime assets position us well for growth. The Allan J MacEachern Airport is a key asset in ensuring strong air access to the region to support this growth and the safety of the people there.
– Amanda Mombourquette, Warden of Richmond County
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