The Killarney Flying Club has faced its share of winter challenges with the amount of snowfall this winter. 

Flying Club President, Bob Wiebe, says they’ve got a small, but faithful, volunteer base who have kept the runway clear for especially STARS and Life Flight Air Ambulance. 

“This is important, but we’re doing good,” shares Wiebe. “We’ve got a good group of guys and good equipment and we get it done. We’ve been open pretty close to 100% of the time, not in the middle of a blizzard, but as soon as the blizzard stops, we’re open again.” 

The local group has been raising money for a new building to house their snow clearing equipment. Wiebe says the community support has been strong and they’re looking at a spring build. 

“We’ve struggled over the past few years with our equipment sitting outside, so we’ll be putting up a heated shop so when we need to go and start up our equipment, it’s good to go!” 

The club started with a 1943 pre-war snowblower to maintain their runway and eventually upgraded to an early 1990’s snowblower purchased out of the North West Territories. “It’s been government maintained and blows 200 tons of snow an hour and it’s a dandy! Without that we would have been hooped this year,” he adds. 

Having their machinery sheltered in a warm building and ready to roll will be a much-needed addition to the airport facility. 

“We’ve budgeted for $65,000 and it’s being paid for basically mostly by donations,” explains Wiebe. “We’ve got a good start with the Kinsmen giving us $35,000 here the other day and another guy in town here has been supporting the airport here over the last few years, he has given us a substantial amount. So, we’re a go and we’re going to get it done here this spring.” 

After this project is complete, the club will be looking at the next item on their wish list. “The wish list will never quit,” laughs Wiebe. “We’d like to have an automated weather station, and we’d also like to have a GPS approach.”