Carl Dymond calls for continued patience, says Stephenville airport acquisition soon 'good to go'

Carl Dymond addressed the Newfoundland and Labrador Construction Association conference Friday about his plans for the Stephenville airport. (Curtis Hicks/CBC - image credit)
Carl Dymond addressed the Newfoundland and Labrador Construction Association conference Friday about his plans for the Stephenville airport. (Curtis Hicks/CBC - image credit)

More than a year ago, Carl Dymond announced plans to buy and reinvigorate the airport in Stephenville.

Four months ago, his company trumpeted the signing of a binding acquisition agreement with the Stephenville Airport Corporation.

At the time, Dymond's Greater N.L. Partnership said in a statement that it would "promptly set in motion its business plans."

On Friday, Dymond acknowledged that he still doesn't own the airport, but expressed confidence that his plans will become a reality.

"I'm waiting for, counting on, the people's patience of Stephenville and the surrounding area," Dymond told CBC News.

"This transaction is in the 11th hour of being completed. We're just waiting on the bureaucracy and the court system now to give us this discharge. And then we are good to go."

Dymond says an old insolvency proceeding involving the airport is hanging things up. He doesn't know how long it will take for a judge to give the green light.

And Dymond says he is working to overcome another stumbling block to finalizing the deal.

The Newfoundland and Labrador government has backstopped a long-standing line of credit of up to $900,000 held by the Stephenville Airport Corporation to fund operations there.

Officials told CBC News this summer that taxpayers won't be on the hook for that liability as part of any sale of the airport, and the financial guarantee "will not be extended to other entities."

Dymond said Friday that there is currently about $775,000 owing.

"We're trying to work with the bank right now to get that cleared and get the province taken off as a guarantor for that. But that's a process where we can't take the bank account away from the airport because they still have to operate," Dymond said.

"So we're trying to work through the nuances of how we pay off that line of credit without closing the line of credit because the airport needs that to operate right now."

Plans to spend $500 million at airport next year 

In a speech to the Newfoundland and Labrador Construction Association conference Friday, Dymond said infrastructure work will begin in April 2023 and he expects to spend $500 million at the airport next year.

That announcement comes on the heels of another $500 million in planned spending by Dymond Aerospace to buy engines powered by hydrogen fuel cells. The engines will be installed in drones Dymond says will be built in Stephenville.

So where is this money coming from?

"From our investors," Dymond said.

And who are his investors?

"I can't say right now," he said.

And what would Dymond say to people who believe this all sounds too good to be true?

"Wait and see."

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