Two Cape Breton airports want to extend their runways to handle the influx of golfers bringing a business boom to the area.
The Margaree landing strip and the Port Hawkesbury Airport hope to lengthen their runways. The new Cabot Links Golf Course has drawn international praise and brought small planes bearing golfers to the Inverness area.
A second course, Cabot Cliffs, is set to open in 2015.
The County of Inverness owns the Margaree landing strip. Joe O'Connor, the CEO, said they want to extend the strip by 600 metres.
“It's mostly smaller planes, like private planes. Some come for fishing on the Margaree and to visit the Cheticamp area as well as Inverness Cabot Links,” he said.
“We think with Cabot Cliffs there will be an expansion of air travel to that area. We're in the process of trying to acquire the land to expand the landing strip.”
Larger planes expected
O'Connor wants to expand the Port Hawkesbury runway too. “The length of it now is 2,500 feet and we'd like to expand it to about 4,500 so it can accommodate larger planes."
He doesn’t have a cost estimate for the extension, but wants all three levels of government to help fund the work.
Al MacDonald, manager of the Port Hawkesbury Airport, said business increased when the Cabot Links Golf Course opened.
The widespread interest in the Cabot Links golf course has prompted some business people to set up shop in what used to be a town in economic decline.
Cabot Links has been getting attention from golf writers around the world since opening in 2012.