MORRISBURG – The fourth of July weekend will not be just a celebration for Americans, it will also be a cause to celebrate for remote control model aircraft hobbyists.
South Dundas gave the go-ahead Tuesday night for the Ottawa-based Model Aeronautics Association of Canada (MAAC) to host a gathering of pilots to put on a miniature sized air show at the Iroquois airport.
“We love to re-create the noise, the sound and everything else that goes with model airplanes,” MAAC spokesman Ken Park told council during his presentation with Brent Norman.
“Finding a location to actually enjoy the jets has been very hard. But when we found Iroquois we were very, very excited,” Park said.
As for the economic spinoff, Park says all the amenities such as hotels, campsites and restaurants are nearby and the show would also be a draw for locals.
The July event will be free to the public.
“It’s open to the public. We want them to come out and enjoy, see the planes, hear them and enjoy what we call like a miniature air show,” Park said.
Park says the group carries its own insurance and would have crowd control and strict no-fly areas such as the beach, campground and residential areas.
When questioned by Deputy Mayor Jim Locke about the noise, Park said most of the sound pollution would be directed state-side.
Many of the other councillors were behind the summer event.
Park says they are excited about having a venue close to home because, in the past, the pilots – many of whom have a military background – have had to travel far away.
Open flying would happen on Saturday, July 4 with a rain date of Sunday, July 6.
With a holiday weekend south of the border and a weak Canadian dollar, Park believes it will be an attraction for U.S. visitors. “Our dollar – 82 cents – American friends are going to come screaming over for a good time,” he said. “What a win-win weekend that is for us.”
“We generally have a great time doing this. We’d really like to come to your town (Iroquois),” Park said.
Shortly after Park made his presentation, council approved the event.