Machinery will move onto one of Canada’s busiest GA airports Monday to begin the destruction of the facility to make way for a warehouse development. Buttonville Airport, just north of Toronto, will officially close on Nov. 30 but the decommissioning of the first of two runways will take place this week. Local pilot Phil Lightstone told AVweb that airport officials advised operators of the 30 to 40 aircraft still parked at Buttonville to fly them out as soon as possible. It’s not clear when work will begin on the second runway, but when it does all operations will cease. “We will accept and service aircraft until that is no longer an option,” airport spokesman Robert Seaman said in an email to tenants.
The closure is displacing about 300 aircraft and will significantly affect GA access to the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). No new airports have opened in the area since the Buttonville closure was announced but several nearby facilities, notably Oshawa, have absorbed most of the aircraft, traffic and associated businesses. Buttonville is privately owned and began as a grass strip in 1953 in what was mostly a farming area. The facility is now surrounded by dense urban development and will become part of that landscape over the next couple of years. The company that bought the airport plans to build 2.78 million square feet of warehouse space on the 169-acre site. Some of the hard surfaces will be retained to provide access to the industrial space.