A serial aviation entrepreneur has purchased Wiarton Keppel International Airport. Clayton Smith closed the $2.6 million deal with the community of Georgian Bluffs, which owned the airport, on Friday. Smith had also bought nearby Owen Sound Airport for $1.5 million earlier this month. He has owned Orillia Rama Regional Airport for five years and invested millions in infrastructure, including hangars, paving all the hard surfaces and opening a restaurant and trading post. In 2019 he bought Georgian Bay Airways in Parry Sound and has expanded its fleet from three aircraft to 12. He has plans for his latest acquisitions, too.
“As an experienced airport operator, aviation business owner and pilot, I know firsthand the challenges the township faced, but also the unique potential this property has to offer,” Smith said in a statement.“With substantial capital investments, we can restore, revive and expand the Wiarton-Keppel airport, while protecting this important transportation link for all members of the community. We look forward to working with this council and to bring enhancements to this community and region.”