April 19, 2017
COPA calls on Minister Garneau to take action on Wind Turbines
COPA is advocating hard on behalf of GA airports impacted by wind turbine development. Recently we wrote to Minister Garneau calling for immediate action on this critical safety issue:
Dear Minister Garneau,
On behalf of over 17,000 members of COPA across Canada, I am writing to you
concerning the ongoing saga of the proposed Fairview wind turbine development that, in
its current form, presents a significant risk to aviation safety at the Collingwood (CNY3)
and Stayner (CLV2) aerodromes.
As you are undoubtedly aware, the Ontario Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT)
recently allowed an appeal by local residents objecting to the wind farm’s construction,
which concluded with: “…the proposed wind turbines at their proposed locations would
be inadequate to either prevent collision with a wind turbine, or prevent a crash due to
wind turbine-induced turbulence.” While COPA is extremely pleased with the Tribunal’s
decision, this does now open the door for the project’s proponent, wpd, to appeal this
matter in court.
COPA is a willing partner with Transport Canada in the development and
implementation of the newly revised regulations concerning Responsible Aerodrome
Development. We feel that as much as it is important for aerodromes to consult with
interested parties regarding construction and consultation, it is equally vital that outside
developers be required to consult and mitigate with interested parties, including
aerodromes, on proposals that affect operations and aviation safety. As concluded by
the tribunal, the wpd proposal in its current form cannot be mitigated to the extent
required to eliminate the very real and established risk to aviation safety and the safety
of the traveling public.
In view of your recent comments affirming your commitment to aviation safety –
specifically around the reckless use of drones, a move COPA wholeheartedly endorses,
we are seeking from you, per the provisions of section 4.31 of the Aeronautics Act,
similar relief from wpd’s proposal due to the established risks posed to aviation safety.
Such a move would not only ensure the continued safe operations at these aerodromes,
but it would send a clear message – both to other potential developers and to the
broader public that Transport Canada considers the potential impact to safety that such
developments have on operations and is prepared to act to ensure that Canadians
continue to be safe in the use of Canada’s aerodromes.
Thank you for your attention in this matter and I look forward to the opportunity to work
with you and your team to ensure that the Collingwood and Stayner aerodromes can
continue to operate safely and effectively, and contribute to the economic benefit of their
Bernard Gervais, PMP
President and CEO