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Activity at Millard Air hangar not what airport boss expected
When Millard Air signed a 50-year lease to operate a hangar at the Region of Waterloo International Airport beginning in 2011, grand plans seemed to be in place.
One of the larger hangars at the airport, it was built at a cost of several million dollars. It was expected to hold 757s or other large airplanes for maintenance and repair work.
Airport general manager Chris Wood says he never saw those planes, but did see a mixture of smaller aircraft and non-aviation items.
“I haven’t seen activity consistent with what was indicated on their lease … ever,” he tells CTV News.
“It’s not a functioning operation as was originally conceived by Mr. Millard.”
Wood says he last met with Dellen Millard in March, three months after he had taken over the company following the death of his father, Wayne Millard.
They talked about Millard’s plans for the future of the company, which Wood recalls as potentially including a new tenant or different commercial business within the confines of the 50-year lease.
Weeks later, police began a lengthy search operation at the hangar after Dellen Millard was linked to the death of Ancaster resident Tim Bosma.
Along with Oakville resident Mark Smich, Millard is charged with first-degree murder in the case.
Even if large-scale aircraft weren’t finding their way into the Millard hangar, some materials were.
One company that made regular deliveries to the hangar tells CTV News the deliveries suddenly stopped the day after Bosma’s disappearance.
There was no further contact between the company and Millard Air until last week, when the employee the company always dealt with showed up and said it would be business as usual beginning this week.
The company says it was skeptical about that claim, and locked the cash-only account in Dellen Millard’s name over the weekend.
Across the street at the M.R. Jutzi & Co. auction house, owner Calvin Jutzi says he never noticed the hangar teeming with activity.
“The type of things we’ve seen is just cars parked out front and that’s pretty much it. We never saw very many planes coming and going,” he says.
Wood says talks over the future of the hangar are ongoing with Millard Properties Inc., now run by Dellen Millard’s mother, and hope remains that the hangar will become commercially viable.