The track is open for another season of drag racing in Osoyoos after Council Monday approved licensing for use of the Osoyoos Airport runway by a local motorsports club.
The airport property, located on Hwy. 3 just east of Osoyoos, was also approved for use by model airplane enthusiasts.
Wine Country Drag Racing Association plans to hold drag racing using the airport’s runway — what it calls the Richter Pass Motorplex — on a number of weekends between May and October 2017.
The agreement requires the association to provide liability insurance of up to $5 million and to ensure the runway, viewing and parking areas used by the association are cleaned up and repaired as necessary.
That would include removal of all litter and waste from the property and repair of any damage which may have occurred, including skid marks on painted lines on the runway.
Councillors wondered how proposed improvements to the airport might affect the use agreement, but CAO Barry Romanko suggested that wouldn’t be a problem in 2017.
“I can’t see work being done prior to that time,” Mr. Romanko told Council. “I suspect we’re OK for this year.”
Council also approved a request from the Penticton Model Aviation Club for its members to use the Osoyoos Airport on an ad hoc basis.
The club provides for $2 million in liability insurance to cover potential mishaps.
While the airport appears to be available to the two users in 2017, future use of the property is not as certain.
The Osoyoos Airport Development Society is currently looking for provincial funding to complete an airport master plan, add runway markings, perimeter fencing, apron improvements and a runway extension to the south end of the property. Its expectation is to make the airport better available to aircraft.
This year, Wine Country has established racing weekends for May 6-7, June 3-4, June 17-18, September 23-24 and October 7-8.