COPA 149 Timelines:
Events and projects at the Niagara Central Dorothy Rungeling Airport
2022-06-02 Interprovincial Air Tour
The Niagara Central Dorothy Rungeling Airport was the first stop on the Interprovincial Air Tour.
2019 Pump House Renovations
Renovations to 1942 Pumphouse
* Popularly known as the "Green Shed"
* To be used for storage of airport equipment in a secure compound
2019 Hangar 11 Construction Slide Show
2018 Flight Lounge Slide Show
* Flight Planning/Pilots' Lounge now
open seven days a week 0800 - 17:00
* Hot/Cold Drinks and Snacks available for purchase
courtesy of COPA 149
2018 Signage Slide Show
* COPA 149 and the Niagara Central Airport
has installed new signage to better
direct visitors to the facilities and
services available at the airport
2018 11/29 Turf Runway Project
COPA 149 raises donations and volunteers donate time and expertise to rehabilitate the abandoned runway 11/29
87 Eagle Squadron Air Cadets
The culmination to the 2016 - 2017 Air Cadet year will occur in May. Congratulations to one and all. Open House for the 2016 - 2017: T.B.A.
The Air Cadets reconvene in the fall, and generally follow the school year. For additional information, contact Air Cadets Canada.
May 5, 2017
Tenants at Niagara Central Dorothy Rungeling Airport were cordially invited to attend a "Thank You" event for the Federal grant received through FedDev CIP150. NCDRA was able to replace its Terminal roof through a 50% grant of up to $99,000.00. A greeting from the Minister was delivered by MP Vance Badawey. Airport Chairperson Richard Rybiak hosted the event. Light refreshments were served in the Niagara Skydive terminal lounge, courtesy of Tim Grech, Niagara Skydive.
May 5, 2017
Update: the levelling of the runway grindings behind Bravo area will be completed once weather improves. At that time the remaining piles will also be levelled to the east entry roadway. The west end of the main parking lot will be used to store the new runway surface aggregate commencing on or about May 23rd. Coating the runway will then commence by the end of that week, or the beginning of the following week. Down-time is expected to be about 2 days. Repainting of the surface will then be scheduled for a subsequent week, weather permitting, and would last about 2-3 days.
April 21, 2017
Work Update: due to the extensive rains over the last few days, the dump trucks are no longer able to deposit their loads in the primary area mentioned April 18. Instead, they are being spread across the west end of the abandoned runway, and will be levelled once work has finished.
April 18, 2017
Work on 05-23 commenced April 18. Though rain stopped work thereafter, it resumed April 19th, with approximately 50% of the runway milled. The grindings were being placed behind the hangars on Bravo, and have been partially levelled for a basic, temporary utility surface, by Bob Culllen. Bob had expended both a great amount of effort and skill in his workmanship. A further tremendous thanks is to John Sonneveld, River Bend Farms, for loaning the loader Bob has been using to do the work. It's great to see concerned people pull together in difficult situations for the benefit of all. Again, thank you Bob and John.
Projected for the 2000s
New Roof for Hangar #1
With support through the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Programme/Avec l'appui du Programme d'infrastructure communautaire de Canada 150
This federally funded project will supply up to 50% of the roof replacement costs, with a value of $99,000.00. The total cost of the roof is not expected to exceed $198,000.00. This project will provide the main hangar with a safe and secure roofing system that will protect the aircraft stored inside for many years to come.
New Hangar Construction
Looking for a new home for your aircraft? Bravo taxiway is now complete with 2 more hangars and an agreement for a 8 unit T-hangar. The west side of the airport near Alpha is seeing the first ever new hangar well under way.
The building season is typically June through September, weather permitting. The summer of 2016, however, saw incredibly dry weather allowing build times well into the autumn.
Want your own separate hangar or tie-down spot? Space is available to qualified applicants. For details, contact the airport manager here.
May 23, 2015
87 Eagle Squadron Air Cadets
The end of May (Saturday, May 23rd, 2015) will see the culmination to another year at 87 Eagle Squadron. The Cadet year end inspection is a well attended, and colourful event. Congratulations too all: Cadets, Instructors, and Parent Sponsoring Committee. A job well done!
As of spring, 2015, the airport has a new name: Niagara Central Dorothy Rungeling Airport, in recognition of the contributions to aviation by local centenarian Dorothy Rungeling.
Operation Stalwart Guardian
At Niagara Central Dorothy Rungeling Airport, the heady days of summer didn't just wind down, they ended with a bang, actually, a BANG-BANG-BANG! The airport was the site of two exercises as part of Operation Stalwart Guardian. Hundreds of soldiers from across Ontario, the United States, and even some representation from Great Britain and Sweden defended the airport against attack from opposing forces.
Automatic weapons and machine guns blazed as the soldiers practiced, honed their skills, and demonstrated their prowess to their commanders and a very special guest, the Honourable Rob Nicholson, Minister of Defence.
The exercise even included the Navy, with some of the "aggressors" arriving via the Welland River in powered inflatable boats, beaching at the airport's float plane launch. Airport Manager David Devine said that the operation was a tremendous success for the military, and for the airport itself. The entire exercise demonstrated the importance of the airport to not just the aviation community, but the entire region. The airport started its life as an air force base in service to King and Country at the outset of WWII, and continues to be able to assist with the training of Canada's modern military. The compound economic impact for the region from the numerous military exercises of Stalwart Guardian from venues across Niagara has been tremendous.
June 23, 20xx
Emergency Procedures Exercise
Tuesday, June 23, saw the airport hold its first ever emergency exercise, involving the Pelham Fire Department. Multiple trucks from Stations 1 & 2, and approximately 30 firefighters attended the site with a double-simulated emergency. Scenario 1 saw an airplane with an engine failure at low altitude impact a vehicle, trapping the occupants inside. Scenario 2 involved a skydiver becoming trapped in a tree after bailing from the airplane, and needing to be brought down from a precarious height.
After the exercise, airport manager David Devine, Niagara Skydive owner Tim Grech and staff, and St. Catharines Flying Club (and Niagara Skydive) pilot Chris Jones met with the fire department for debriefing over pizza and pop (courtesy of Niagara Skydive). Another exercise will be planned for the fall, building upon what was learned this day. The purpose of the exercise was socially responsible, mufti-discipline safety training and preparedness, and developing and testing an emergency action plan. With the growth occurring at the airport, and 10,000 visitors a year, it is important to be pro-active. It was also a superb example of the municipality working in harmony with emergency services and private business.
2013 - 2014
Extensive Tile Drainage
As a community resource, airport lands are put to the best use possible. This includes farming arable lands which are not used for aircraft movements or storage. In 2013 and 2014, as part of a general lands improvement project, River Bend Farms installed extensive tile draining of the infield area. This results in a win-win situation, wherein the farm can realize a significant increase in crop productivity, and the airport has its draining system enhanced for the benefit of all.
Niagara Skydive Centre Inc.
The skies over the airport have become more colourful since Niagara Skydive Inc. began its operations from its new home at Niagara Central Airport. The lounge in hangar 1 has been redecorated, and has been greeting thousands of new tourists to the area..
Dec. 4, 2013
Pictured below are Alex Risi (left, SCFC) and Rolly Meisel (COPA 149)
In addition to being the Co-Captain of COPA (Canadian Owners and Pilots Association) local Flight #149, Rolly had the honour of being the first person to rent an aircraft from the St. Catharines Flying Club at the Niagara Central Dorothy Rungeling Airport location. Alex is the primary dispatcher and radio operator for the Flying club, and is anxious to assist new pilots in achieving their goals. As winters are traditionally a slower time for flight training, perspective students should consider getting a head-start on their training, and as most pilots will admit, it hard to beat the clear crisp air of winter for great flying conditions
Dec. 1, 2013
St. Catharines Flying Club
Flight School NCDRA Campus
On December 1st, 2013, after several months of palpable anticipation, The St. Catharines Flying Club threw open its doors to new and current students and pilots wishing flight training, or aircraft rentals at Niagara Central Airport in Pelham. Services offered include introductory flights, private and commercial instruction, night ratings, OTT, multi-engine commercial, IFR, sightseeing and aircraft rental. As Canada's oldest operating flying club/school, they have plenty of experience, and are anxious to help others in their quest to fly recreationally or professionally. The S.C.F.C. has also taken on the duties of radio operator for the UNICOM service at the airport.
Available aircraft models include Piper Warrior, Cessna 172 and Piper Twin Comanche. For details or booking, call 905-788-1359. Hours are 9:00 - 5:00 daily.
New Business & Administration Office
In July 2012, a new wheelchair accessible Administration Office was opened adjacent to the main hangar. Airport operations are handled through this building which houses the manager's office, a meeting/common room, special events kitchen, patio deck, and utility rooms.
Norjohn Contracting and Paving was selected for the re-pavement of the apron between the fuel pumps and the start of Alpha taxiway. The work began August 27th, 2012, and was completed by early September.