Municipal Bylaws vs Federal Aeronautics Act

City of Lévis mayor Gilles Lehouillier is the latest civic politician to believe his municipality has jurisdiction over federally-regulated aerodromes. Mayor Lehouillier wants to ban skydiving activities at Pintendre aerodrome (PT9), a rural 2100-foot grass strip southwest of Lévis, Quebec.

Citing the high number of take-offs and landings and the noise generated by them, Mayor Lehouillier claims such activities are harmful to the population. The city’s method to displace the skydivers was to deny them a building permit to construct a hangar. However, the city lost in Quebec’s Superior Court as they did when they escalated it to the Quebec Court of Appeal.

Not one to easily surrender, Mayor Lehouillier now wants the case heard by the Supreme Court of Canada. “Our decision is to appeal to the Supreme Court. But we will wait for the appointment of the new Attorney General of Quebec when (Quebec’s new) cabinet is formed. In the Court of Appeal, it was the Attorney General who took the leadership of the cause because he considers that it is a departure from the laws of Quebec,” said Mayor Lehouillier this week.

COPA will be following this story as it develops.

After 31 Years, Wreckage of Missing Float Plane Found

For the second time in recent weeks, the wreckage of a long-lost float plane has been found in British Columbia without it being the object of a current search. In June of 1987, two men left the southern shore of Shuswap Lake in B.C.’s interior in a Piper Super Cub float plane bound for a remote lake in Wells Gray Provincial Park. They were never heard from again.

Late last month, while searching for the RV6 that went missing on September 11 on a flight between the Edmonton area and Chilliwack in B.C.’s Upper Fraser Valley, crews spotted the Piper wreckage near Kostal Lake, just south of their destination of McDougall Lake, both within park boundaries.

Pilot Ernie Whitehead, 78, and passenger Len Dykhuizen, 55, left the small lakeside community of Eagle Bay on a fishing expedition. Extensive searches that were undertaken at the time the aircraft and its passengers went missing 31 years ago ended with no clues.

SAR crews have been lowered to the crash site in order to positively identify the aircraft. Next of kin were then tracked down and notified before the RCMP released the news this week. Due to the fast approaching winter conditions, recovery efforts are being put off until spring. “This area is very remote and there are no roads or trails to access the crash site,” said Clearwater RCMP Sgt. Grant Simpson.

Using Cannabis? Grounded!

In a letter from Transport Canada Civil Aviation dated October 9, 2018, Director General Nicholas Robinson makes it clear that there is zero tolerance for the use of cannabis, either recreationally or under a physician’s prescription. Such use is a disqualifying factor for obtaining a medical certificate.

TCCA asserts that the use of cannabis can cause not only immediate impairment, but also longer-lasting impairment that is not easily detected by either the users or those around them. They go one to say that there is scientific consensus regarding effects that last long after the effects of impairment are no longer felt by the user.

The current TCCA policy on cannabis will remain unchanged after the legalization of the drug mid-October.

Air Canada recently announced that they will prohibit their pilots, flight dispatchers, flight attendants and maintenance employees from using cannabis at any time, whether on company or their own time. Remaining employees not included above will be banned from using the drug while on duty or at their place of work.

Westjet closely followed Air Canada’s lead, even extending the cannabis ban to company social functions as well.

Read the full TCCA letter below.



Places to Fly-West: Alert Bay, B.C.

By Janine Cross

A quintessential Pacific Northwest Coast flying experience, the route to Cormorant Island in British Columbia often involves dodging heavy rain showers in a mix of marginal VFR and IFR conditions. In all but the driest summer months, threading up the narrow Johnstone Strait means weaving around shoals of clouds that are as grey and ponderous as humpback whales while, not far below, heavy spectral mists lift from the cedars and hemlocks of the channel’s dozens of sparsely inhabited islands.

Situated between Broughton Strait and Pearse Passage off the northeastern coast of Vancouver Island, Cormorant Island boasts a 2900-foot airstrip (YAL), as well as a water aerodrome in the village of Alert Bay. When on approach for runway 09, the skeletal trees of the island’s eerie marshland ecological park are clearly visible to the left.

At the threshold of runway 27, on the north side, the Alert Bay Cabins are literally a stone’s throw from where you can park your plane on a wide grass verge. If you’ve rented a cabin here, the only thing preventing you from taxiing right to your door is a short but steep slope.

Alert Bay is a haven for kayaking, fishing, whale watching and hiking. A 16-km network of trails covers the island. From the airport cabins, the East Trail wends through the forest, right to the ecological park.

Being traditional Kwakwaka’wakw territory, Alert Bay possesses over 23 totems, one of which is the tallest in the world, towering 173 feet into the sky. Close by, the U’mista Cultural Centre houses a collection of elaborately carved masks and historical artefacts that have been repatriated after years of residing in far-flung museums.

There are a number of cafes in town, easily reached on foot from the airport; they serve everything from pizza to fresh-caught salmon. Before visiting outside of tourist season, pilots might want to check what is open, as some businesses keep limited hours or shut down entirely during the off-season. The cabins at the airport each contain full kitchens, so self-catering is always an option.

AIAC Scholarship Application Deadline Approaching

The Dave Caddey Memorial Scholarship, created by the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada (AIAC), seeks to support students studying for a career in the aviation, space or defence sectors.

This year’s scholarship winner will receive financial assistance for their post-secondary education as well as the reimbursement of travel and hotel expenses to attend the 2018 Canadian Aerospace Summit in Ottawa this coming November 13. While in Ottawa, they will have the opportunity to meet with some of the industry’s brightest professionals.

The scholarship is dedicated to the late Dave Caddey, who served as president of MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates’ (MDA) Space Missions division. Caddey began his career in Canada’s military, obtaining first a bachelor’s degree in 1971, then a master’s degree in 1976 from the Royal Military College. After serving in Canada’s military for 19 years, he joined MDA in 1986. Caddey was awarded the James C. Floyd Award in 2014 in recognition of his exceptional contribution to the development of the Canadian space industry. He passed away in 2015.

The deadline to apply is October 10. Further information and an application form can be found here.

Yarmouth Airport Runway To Be Repaired

An $80,000 project to repair the 06/24 runway at Yarmouth airport (YQI) is scheduled to be completed this month. The repair, which some refer to as a repaving, will consist mainly of filling cracks in the runway’s surface. The runway was closed earlier this year, leaving the airport with only one operational runway, 15/33. The airport’s ILS was decommissioned in 2013, but both NDB and VOR/DME approaches are available.

Last year the airport authority voluntarily downgraded the airport’s CARs 302 certification to a less strict CARs 301 certification in order to allow for continued air service to the airport. However, the lower standards do not allow for scheduled passenger service. Influencing the authority’s decision to downgrade the certification was the estimated $6 million required to regain the higher standard, as well as an estimated $250,000 annually to maintain it.

The airport is managed by a corporation formed in 2015 by the Town of Yarmouth, the Municipality of Yarmouth and the Municipality of Argyle.

The airfield was originally built to accommodate the RCAF and the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan during the Second World War. After the war it was transferred to the Department of Transport. Later, a terminal building was built and, during the airport’s heydays in the 70s and 80s, Air Canada offered DC-9 service between Halifax, Saint John and Boston, Mass. Air Nova later took over regional service with smaller aircraft. More recently, a local airline offered service between Yarmouth and Portland, Maine, but that service ended in 2012.

Today, the airport supports charter operators, transiting Canadian Coast Guard and RCAF aircraft and private aircraft owners.

Kelowna MP Pushes GA Motion in Parliament

Stephen Fuhr, Member of Parliament for Kelowna – Lake Country (B.C.), has proposed a private members motion (M-177) that asks the Standing Committee on Transport to review the growing shortage of pilots affecting the Canadian aviation industry. Fuhr, who chairs the Standing Committee on National Defence, is a retired RCAF officer and fighter pilot.

In a regular column he writes for local media, Fuhr cites a meeting he had with COPA Flight 36-Kelowna Flying Club where he was brought up to date on the current pilot shortage. There, he was informed of the need for support from the government for flight schools, which are having difficulty attracting or retaining instructors because they are being swallowed up by commercial operators and the airlines at an ever-increasing rate.

Fuhr wrote that, at current pilot production rates, it is estimated Canada will be short nearly 3,000 pilots by 2025 and nearly 6,000 by 2036. He went on to cite the high cost of obtaining commercial pilot (CPL) training, which he estimates as close to $75,000, double that if tied to a post-secondary diploma or degree.

Armed with these statistics, Fuhr’s hopes his notice of motion will push Parliament into addressing these industry challenges.


IAOPA Urges Pilot Medical Certification Reform

At a September 24th meeting of the International Council of Aircraft Owner and Pilot Associations (IAOPA) with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) at the latter’s headquarters in Montreal, the topic of reducing cumbersome red tape involved in the medical certification of general aviation pilots was on the agenda.

IAOPA, led by AOPA’s CEO Mark Baker, informed the meeting that 36 nations have now abandoned or are in the process of abandoning costly bureaucratic requirements medical certification requirements. Baker pressed all ICAO member countries to consider following suit.

Baker went on to describe the U.S. experience, where a reduced medical certification program referred to as BasicMed has resulted in 40,000 GA pilots using the less complicated procedure in the slightly more than one year since its implementation. Among other counties, the United Kingdom and Australia have implemented less-bureaucratic medical certification procedures as well.

Coming next week, again to Montreal, is the Thirteenth Air Navigation Conference where industry stakeholders will meet to discuss global strategies for aviation safety, among other topics. IAOPA will be there to present pilot medical reform for consideration, with a goal of having all ICAO member countries harmonize civil aviation medical standards. COPA feels it reflects changes it proposed and feels it takes the right approach to bring about changes.

This action by IAOPA is a result of IAOPA Resolution 29/6 – Harmonized International Civil Aviation Medical Standards adopted by the organization at their World Assembly held in New Zealand earlier this year.

IAOPA represents nearly 400,000 pilots in 79 countries.