Airport still bound by Mother Nature

The reliability of Castlegar’s airport doesn’t look like it will improve any time soon.

  • Jun. 4, 2015 6:00 a.m.

Chris Stedile

 

Castlegar News

 

The reliability of Castlegar’s airport doesn’t look like it will improve any time soon after a meeting between two Kootenay MPs and Air Canada officials.

BC Southern Interior MP Alex Atamanenko and Kootenay-Columbia representative David Wilks met with airline vice-president Derek Vanstone and afterward wrote a joint open letter.

Atamanenko believed joining forces with a member of another party would further emphasize how important the airport’s reliability is to the area. The fact Wilks is well-acquainted with Mayor Lawrence Chernoff also helped bring him into the fold.

“What we found out,” Atamanenko said, “was not only does Air Canada demand an approach, they need to be assured that they have the visibility for take-off. I didn’t know that. David and I were told  Air Canada needs a developed RNP system for departure as well as for landing before even considering sending their Q400 to Castlegar.”

RNP is short for required navigation performance. It’s a type of performance-based navigation that allows an aircraft to fly a specific path between two 3D-defined points in space.

Required navigation performance approaches allow aircraft to follow these precise three-dimensional curved flight paths through congested airspace, around noise-sensitive areas, or through difficult terrain.

 

This system could effectively halve the required visibility threshold, reducing it from 3,000 feet to just 1,500 or so.

Atamanenko said having a system like this — which currently is not available — would still not satisfy guidelines set by Air Canada. This proposed take-off assistance software would need to be successful in several more established airports before they would consider bringing it to Castlegar.

“It’s not just a matter of equipping one plane. They have to train pilots, and ensure the equipment is maintained and so on,” he said.

The MP said it’s much more complicated than he and many others originally thought.

Currently the involved parties are hoping to get another meeting on the books, involving both Air and Nav Canada, in hopes something may come up or at the very least make things clearer.

The letter from the two MPs reads: “As you are aware, technology currently exists to improve the reliability of airports such as our airport in Castlegar.  British Columbia and all West Kootenay communities would benefit if flights into Castlegar could be predictable during the winter … The economic benefits to our region and to Air Canada would be tremendous …

“It is important also for you to understand that together, we represent the current federal government as well as the official opposition. In the interest of the citizens of the West Kootenay region, we have chosen to collaborate on this important issue.

“We strongly urge you to cooperate with all stakeholders in order to ensure that the West Kootenay Regional Airport has access to the Q-400 aircraft as of the fall of 2015.”

 

The letter to Air Canada listed many more reasons why the area needs such equipment on their aircraft and was backed by several other signatories, including Nelson Mayor, Deb Kozak,  Castlegar District Chamber of Commerce director Tammy Verigin-Burk and MLA Katrine Conroy.

 

 

 

 

Just Posted

Slocan Valley to be ‘lit up’ with high-speed internet in 12 months

125 kilometres of fibre-optic cable to be laid from Nakusp to Playmore Junction

Vigil re-affirms belief in peace, acceptance in wake of New Zealand massacre

Nearly 100 show up for solemn event at Mir Centre for Peace

Police bust drug operation in Castlegar

Man charged, will go to court in August

Zoning mix-up nixes Shoreacres property sale

Man says the RDCK’s listings online don’t match his property’s official zoning

Castlegar coach receives Basketball BC honour

Cheryl Closkey recognized for 50 years of volunteering

B.C. researcher says device mimics parent’s touch to help babies cope with pain

Calmer device is a rectangular platform that replaces a mattress inside an incubator

Late-season wave of the flu makes its round in B.C.

BC Centre for Disease Control reported 50 per cent jump in flu cases in first weeks of March

Tofino’s housing crisis causing some to seek shelter at the local hospital

Tofino’s housing crisis is pushing the town’s ‘hidden homeless’ population into the forefront.

Sentencing judge in Broncos crash calls for carnage on highways to end

Judge Inez Cardinal sentenced Jaskirat Singh Sidhu to eight years

2 fires in Victoria caused by cigarettes prompts warning from deputy fire chief

Two separate fires caused by cigarette butts were avoidable

‘Families torn apart:’ Truck driver in fatal Broncos crash gets 8-year sentence

Judge Inez Cardinal told court in Melfort, Sask., that Sidhu’s remorse and guilty plea were mitigating factors

Boy who went missing from park remains largest probe in Victoria police history

The four-year old Victoria boy went missing without a trace on March 24, 1991

WestJet sticking with Boeing 737 Max once planes certified to fly

WestJet had expected to add two more of the planes this year to increase its fleet to 13

B.C. driver caught going 207 km/h on motorcycle along Okanagan Highway

A motorcyclist was caught by Kelowna RCMP going 207 km/h on Highway 97C

Most Read