Team presents on Sherbrooke Airport and its potential future
By William Crooks
Local Journalism Initiative
In a bid to revitalize and expand its aviation potential, Sherbrooke Airport finds itself at a pivotal juncture, as stakeholders deliberate over its future course. With both internal and external factors shaping the narrative, the airport’s destiny hangs in the balance. In an Oct. 3 presentation, the team of Philippe Cadieux, Director of the Economic Coordination and Development Office of the City of Sherbrooke, Jefferson Duplain-Laferrière, General Manager of Sherbrooke Airport, and Mehran Ebrahimi, Consultant for the City and Director of the International Observatory in Aeronautics and Civil Aviation, detailed the current situation and their vision.
A glimpse within
It has been highlighted that there is a need for governance reform and a thorough risk assessment for the proposed commercial service project at the airport. Surprisingly, despite over a decade of groundwork, no formal agreement with a carrier has been solidified, underscoring the complexity of the endeavor. However, there’s a palpable enthusiasm for the commercial service project among stakeholders. The sprawling Sherbrooke Airport site holds immense untapped potential for development.
A significant step forward was the establishment of an expert committee by the Sherbrooke Airport Development Corporation, in collaboration with the City, aimed at shaping the future of the commercial service. This committee, set up in late 2022, also aims to deliberate on the broader development of the airport.
Navigating the landscape
Post-pandemic recovery comes with its own set of challenges, including heightened labor shortages, fluctuating aircraft availability, and rising operational costs. The introduction of the Réseau Express Métropolitain (REM) offers a potential link to Montreal-Trudeau International Airport, further altering the region’s air travel landscape.
Over at Saint-Hubert Airport, investments exceeding $200 million are earmarked to accommodate four million passengers annually, posing both competition and collaboration prospects. Internationally, mounting pressure to curb short-haul flights, driven by escalating environmental concerns, poses a distinct challenge.