Weeks after announcement of Stephenville airport deal, work continues to complete sale conditions

·2 min read
Stephenville's airport, seen in this file image, is in the process of being renamed and rebranded as part of an acquisition by Carl Dymond's Greater N.L. Partnership. (CBC - image credit)
Stephenville's airport, seen in this file image, is in the process of being renamed and rebranded as part of an acquisition by Carl Dymond's Greater N.L. Partnership. (CBC - image credit)

More than five weeks after announcing a binding acquisition agreement for the Stephenville airport, the company buying the facility says it is "working through the conditions of the sale as per the agreement."

The Greater N.L. Partnership declined an interview request about the status of the airport deal, citing employee vacations and other project commitments.

The Stephenville Airport Corporation did not respond to inquiries from CBC News.

In a June 28 press release, the Greater N.L. Partnership said it "will promptly set in motion its business plans, starting in the next few weeks" with upgrades to runway lighting.

This week, the company told CBC News in an email that it would make airport development updates public via its social media channels as information becomes available.

The Greater N.L. Partnership confirmed that it "will be paying off all airport debt with private money, not taxpayer money."

Rob Antle/CBC
Rob Antle/CBC

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

In an April 1 letter to the airport corporation board, Industry Minister Andrew Parsons described the guarantee as a "significant liability held by the province."

And that backing could soon end.

This week, the department indicated 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."

In an email to CBC News, government officials said "the Stephenville Airport Corporation is required to pay the full amount owing on the line of credit and close the line of credit. The provincial guarantee will then be terminated."

Initial airport announcement nearly a year ago

It's been nearly a year since Carl Dymond held a splashy press conference in Stephenville to outline his vision for the future of the long-dormant airport on Newfoundland's west coast.

Dymond is CEO of the Ottawa-based Dymond Group of Companies, and founder of the Greater N.L. Partnership.

Last September, Dymond said his plans include the creation of thousands of jobs on Newfoundland's west coast, and an investment of hundreds of millions of dollars.

Dymond has said he will manufacture massive cargo drones, and facilitate the return of scheduled passenger service to Stephenville.

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