PORT HAWKESBURY: An update to this month’s regular meeting of town council suggests that the new owners of the Port Hawkesbury Municipal Airport are attracting global interest in their new approach to the airstrip just outside the Port Hastings Rotary.
Celtic Air Services Limited (CASL) owner-operator David Morgan and managing director Damian MacInnis each attended the June 13 meeting of Port Hawkesbury Town Council’s Committee-of-the-Whole, with Morgan providing an update on CASL’s progress over the past two months.
Since signing a letter of intent with the town in late April to lease airport property for a new jet reception centre, including a new office and reception area along with 150,000 extra feet of additional hangar space, the company has received, in Morgan’s words, “literally over 100 resumes” from potential CASL employees, while drawing attention from around the world with the new company Web site and social media accounts.
“We’ve had Facebook ‘likes’ from as far away as United Arab Emirates, and we’ve had folks inquiring about travel from all over the world,” Morgan told the June 13 meeting at the Port Hawkesbury Civic Centre’s Shannon Studio.
“Without those folks coming here, we just couldn’t exist, so we’re really trying to get out there and publicize the airport.”
Pledging to invest “almost $1 million” in the Port Hawkesbury Municipal Airport before the end of 2017, Morgan is hoping to bolster the Port Hastings-based operation with such additions as a shuttle service to and from Port Hawkesbury and significant infrastructure and equipment investments over the weeks and months to come.
“When it comes to airports, there’s a lot of shiny stuff and there are a lot of basic things that people overlook – what we plan to do is look after airplanes, airlines and pilots, and sort of look after them in that order,” Morgan declared. “No longer will planes be sitting on the ramp with their engines turned off and a temperature on the tarmac at around 45 degrees, as the sun beats down.”
Describing the airport as “a building block for our community,” Morgan also told his town council audience that CASL’s desire is to offer customers and pilots alike a true taste of Cape Breton hospitality.
“There are already some rooms in there for them to catch up on their rest, while the passengers head off to a business meeting or perhaps a round of golf,” he added.
“We’ve got some great people lined up, and they’re all ready to welcome the clients as soon as they get off the planes. As we look after those people, they’re going to come into our lounge and cool off and wait for customers, or they’re going to get into the shuttle and get on the road.”