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Proposed aviation park takes step forward

A  proposed mixed-use aviation park appears to be taking flight.

On Tuesday, the city’s Committee of the Whole was updated on Gaoshi Holdings’ (Canada) proposal to further develop the Powell River Airport. 

The committee approved sending to council a development permit, which will pave the way for construction of the first phase of the park.

“Planning Services is in support of this DP (development permit) for two main reasons: the quality design work we’re seeing, and because what they’re proposing for our airport is going to give us another ‘new sense of arrival’ to the city with this state-of-art building,” said planning services director, Thomas Knight.

In September 2019, the City accepted an offer from Gaoshi of $600,000 in exchange for a 99-year lease and a revitalization bylaw to create an aviation centre at the airport on 4.65 hectares of land, east of the existing terminal building.

“The development of this industrial land is to bring more jobs and businesses to Powell River, by focusing on aircraft storage, maintenance, pilot training, retail shops, hospitality services, and more,” said Gaoshi director and vice-president Victor Gao, who appeared before the committee for the first time since the deal was announced. 

“We hope this facility can create an attractive entry point for those who come into the City by air looking to do business here.”

Gao showed architectural renderings for the design of phase one of a four-phase development. 

A 20,000 square-foot aircraft hanger is planned for maintenance and service for mid-size jets to small propeller aircraft. 

The 11,000 square-foot multi-purpose building is the central feature of the development, and Gao said it was crucial to the success of the airport project.

“Whether hosting a conference, a community event or an expo or trade show, the idea for this building is to accommodate the demand for different functions and amenities, with coffee shops, restaurant, souvenir shop, and meeting spaces,” Gao said.

The building design is a split-level, open layout, west coast concept with wood, rock, glass walls, and vaulted ceilings.

Pending council’s approval of the development permit and staff’s approval of the building permit, Gao said the development of phase one could begin as early as this summer.

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