Some facts about Russ Beach Smiths Falls Airport
- It is the largest and most active airport between metro Ottawa and Kingston, with a 4000 ft paved runway. It is registered for day and night use in good weather (VFR) and bad weather (IFR) operations
- It has more that 50 hangers sheltering over 100 aircraft
- There are no landing fees and visiting aircraft enjoy free parking and 24 hrs refueling
- It is used by General Aviation and Corporate aircraft as well as Air Ambulance, DND and OPP aircraft
- The airport is host to an Air Cadet Glider program as well as a major Model Aircraft weekend each year
- The airport is home to a Transport Canada Flight Training Unit – The Smiths Falls Flying Club – which offers Recreational, Private and Commercial Pilot flight training, as well as Night and Instrument Certification training
- The airport is also home to several highly capable aerobatic aircraft and pilots who hold rare Transport Canada Special Operating Certificates that allow them to perform unlimited aerobatics from the surface upwards
- The airport is jointly owned by the town of Smiths Falls and the Montague Township. It is operated by volunteers from the Smiths Falls Flying Club, which now has more than 200 members. This includes airport maintenance, snow removal, grass cutting and so on. There are no paid employees.
- It it home to Classic Wings, an extensive private collection of rare and unique aircraft
- Annual events include a breakfast fly-in with as many as 1000 visitors, a COPA for kids free flight experience event, the Modellers weekend, a Pig Roast and other social events
The airport’s roots go back nearly 60 years when five individuals formed the L&B ( Little and Big) Company, purchased farmland and began opening runways. The Smiths Falls Flying Club was formed soon after and continued airport improvements until the Airport was sold the the Town and Township in 1978 for one dollar. This was done in order to access federal Government funding for airport development, including runway and taxiway extensions and paving, the installation of lighting and electronic aids for navigation and landing. Thanks to the leadership of Russ Beach, who was COPA National President for many years, the airport was one of the first small airports to have a radio beacon to enable instrument approaches. It was also the first airport to have an approved GPS instrument approach in the early days of GPS technology.
The Russ Beach Smiths Falls-Montague Airport Aviation Historical Museum Society was established in 2009 with the mandate to capture, preserve and make available to the public the rich aviation history and legacy of the pioneers and developers of this remarkable airport. It is a Canadian registered charity.