Residents located near the Edmonton/Parkland airport (CPL6), opened in 2014, are already complaining about the noise it is generating. Located in the countryside 11 km southwest of Edmonton’s western suburbs, local residents claim that planes are flying too low and close to houses and “dive-bombing” properties. One resident has reportedly catalogued thousands of these instances, although neither the airport operator nor Transport Canada are able to verify.
The privately-owned airport is home to the Edmonton Flying Club (EFC), which was displaced from Edmonton when that city’s downtown airport, Blatchford Field (CYXD), was closed in late 2013. The EFC operates the Edmonton Flight College, offering complete pilot training with their fleet of Cessna 172s and a Piper Seminole, all of them recent models. Other than practicing circuits, the EFC uses a designated training area located 10 minutes away.
At a meeting recently held and attended by the Opponents of the Parkland Airport (OPA), the RCMP, the EFC, Parkland County’s mayor and Transport Canada, airport manager Robert Gilgen explained that the airport alone cannot change circuit procedures since they fall under federal jurisdiction.
Nevertheless, Gilgen was optimistic after the meeting. “We understand their concerns, we want to help, on the other hand we have a business to operate and we have a manual to follow,” said Gilgen. “We can’t just mandate different circuits, this is something we can work towards with individual pilots or with the flight instructors, but you cannot change the aviation rules, then it is a safety issue too.”
Mandy Kenworthy, representing OPA, says she still hopes to have the airport shut down.
Irate neighbours is not the only challenge the airport is facing. According to the Spruce Grove Examiner, the airport owner currently owes over $700,000 in unpaid property taxes and penalties while still needing to service their initial $20 million investment.