March 4, 2022

Cèdres closing May 22

Jon Robinson

— By Leo Nikkinen

Aircraft owners based at Cedars CSS3 had been aware for several months that the lease for the property used by the airport and flight school operator, Laurentide Aviation, was up for renewal this spring. Development of the land for other uses would be a more profitable option for the property owner, and aircraft owners based at Cedars were eagerly waiting for news of a lease renewal. Starting in mid-February, anyone paying for tie-down was advised verbally that the airport would be closing this May. With no lease, the airport operator would be obliged to vacate the premises; the closure of CSS3 on May 22, 2022 was confirmed by an email sent to Cedars’ aircraft owners/operators.

There would appear to be little that can be done about the closure at this point. Aircraft and hangar owners at Cedars are searching for alternatives and deciding on their best course of action. Aircraft ownership has its challenges and the danger is that this closure might force some to sell their aircraft or give up flying. The departure of Laurentide Aviation from Cedars removes a flight school that was well placed to serve the Island of Montreal and in particular residents from its West Island and off-island communities.

The conversion of airports and other properties into more profitable enterprises is easy to justify when money is the prime or only consideration. Cedars CSS3 was created in the late 1980s when Laurentide Aviation, then located at CYCV Cartierville airport, was forced to move by the closure of CYCV in favour of a more profitable development of the airport land. Following on from the 2016 closure of Mascouche CSK3 just off the east end of the Island of Montreal, that trend seems to be continuing. In the end, it looks as if every property that is not owned by the resident airport community will be judged on its ability to maximize the financial return for its owners. Eventually, we will become a land of shopping centres, residential subdivisions, commercial developments and high-rise apartment buildings.

(Photo: Adobe Stock)