Our local airport has won a very big award. The Parry Sound Area Municipal Airport won the Community Economic Development Award for its 10-year track record of being an economic catalyst for growth at the Ontario Association of Community Futures Development Corporations’ annual conference in early September. The facility was opened by Premier Bill Davis in 1979 with a 3,000-foot runway and a trailer for a passenger terminal and today there is water and sewer infrastructure, new roads, taxiways, an apron, three-phase hydro, floating docks for amphibious aircraft, and ground preparation for companies to move in. Airport commission chair Doug Sainsbury says they are now the only municipal airport in Ontario that’s profitable. The Parry Sound Area Community and Business Development Centre has aided the commission with long-range development planning, funding applications, management of contracts and cash flows, along with capital and operating funding to five commercial tenants. Since 2004, the airport has seen five phases of industrial expansion with a sixth currently underway and when the sixth phase is finished on Dec. 31, a total of $4.3 million will have been contributed by FedNor and the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund toward the faculty, which in turn has leveraged $10.2 million in private investment with new hangars, 10 new business operators, 60 full-time jobs, and a refurbished passenger terminal.