President’s Corner – December 2016

1059

Still in IMC, but the runway is in sight
Responsible Aerodrome Development

Mascouche/Terrebonne aerodrome is approved! In one instance of the Responsible Aerodrome Development (RAD) file we have been following for the last few years since the infamous omnibus Bill C-43 of late 2014, we broke out of the clouds and saw the runway. Eight months to the day after March 4 2016 when Transport Minister Marc Garneau issued an Order Prohibiting the Development of an Aerodrome in the Cities of Mascouche and Terrebonne, the Minister has issued an official “no objection” to start development at the new proposed site, with no more conditions than to pursue activities in a safe manner, while being respectful of adjoining communities.

This is great news, because this was the first time in the country that consultation was made mandatory. It even came before the official ruling coming into force next January 2017 (see next subject of my column).

It is refreshing to note that in the official response, Transport Canada (TC) clearly recognizes the economic benefits of such a project in these communities, as it will allow the existing flight schools to pursue their activities and keep training tomorrow’s pilots. Close to one hundred aircraft will be moving to the new aerodrome over the next few months, where many hangars will also be constructed.

COPA will be working with the Mascouche proponents and TC to see if and what could have been made differently or better in the consultation process, try to draw some lessons out of this precedent-setting first effort. The goal is to share and possibly apply the consultation recipe elements that worked elsewhere in the country, as best as we can.

Gazette II, new and existing aerodromes (get your camera!)

On Sept. 30 2016 the regulations of RAD came out in Gazette part II, to come into force next January 1. There is one big issue that concerns us: “ad hoc” aerodromes (less than a certain number of days of operation a year) are not exempt. In other words, if you use a new terrestrial landing spot for just a few times a year, it may be subject to consultation. After some discussions, TC assures us that itinerant aeronautical activity is of course exempt from consultation, but this unfortunately opens up the door to a lot of interpretation. Those that are clearly exempt are water aerodromes (including the frozen surface thereof); primarily used for agriculture operations; heliports and temporary aerodromes for the purpose of providing emergency services. All existing aerodromes are also exempt and grandfathered in, no consultation is needed. However, if the existing aerodrome is not in the present Flight Supplement (CFS), there has to be proof (take pictures, Google Earth, etc.) that it existed before January 1. COPA will work closely with TC to ensure the initial intentions of RAD are respected. You can see the details of the law by going here http://tinyurl.com/onhvnne.

Helping your fellow members

Do you have medical, legal, aerodromes/airports, recreational aircraft, seaplanes, personnel licensing, insurance, federal government, air navigation services and border crossing skills to help COPA? If you have any expertise in one of these subjects, please contact me (bgervais@copanational.org. Please help us help you.

Those that are clearly exempt are water aerodromes (including the frozen surface thereof); primarily used for agriculture operations; heliports and temporary aerodromes for the purpose of providing emergency services. All existing aerodromes are also exempt and grandfathered in, no consultation is needed. However, if the existing aerodrome is not in the present Flight Supplement (CFS), there has to be proof (take pictures, Google Earth, etc.) that it existed before January 1. COPA will work closely with TC to ensure the initial intentions of RAD are respected. You can see the details of the law by going here http://tinyurl.com/onhvnne.