Questions about the Castlegar Airport study

Technology currently not available in Canada would be required to improve landing rates in Castlegar.

Technology currently not available in Canada will be required to improve landing rates at the Castlegar airport.

Jeppesen, the aviation consulting company on contract with the City of Castlegar to find a way to improve landing rates at the Castlegar airport, reported in 2014 that no technological fix was possible.

What has changed since then? Has there been a technological breakthrough since 2014 to allow this possibility?

If there is, Jeppesen doesn’t want to tell the Star about it.

In February, 2015, the Star published an article quoting two aviation experts who said there was no possible technological fix for the Castlegar airport.

They based their opinions on a report done for Nav Canada by Jeppesen about the Castlegar airport in 2014.

To assist the Star in writing that article, Jim Ferrier of Nav Canada and Jeff Bruce of Jeppesen prepared a two-page summary of Jeppesen’s 2014 report on the airport.

Nav Canada is the company that runs navigational systems in all Canadian airports.

Ferrier and Ron Singer said that RNP (Required Navigation Procedure) technology has helped airlines around the world land with greater safety under lower cloud cover or in difficult terrain, but that RNP cannot be used to improve take-off.

Even if an RNP system allowed a plane to land under low cloud cover, “air operators are unlikely to dispatch an aircraft to a destination from which it cannot depart in inclement weather,” Ferrier and Bruce said in the summary of the 2014 report.

Later this year, the City of Castlegar hired Jeppeson on a $260,000 contract to work out a technical solution to the airport’s poor landing statistics.

The Star asked Mayor Lawrence Chernoff for his view on the apparent contradiction between this contract and the study Jeppesen did for Nav Canada in 2014. We asked if there has been new technology developed since 2014.

Chernoff referred the Star to one of the Jeppesen employees who visited Castlegar last summer to develop the contract.

He did not return the Star’s emails or phone calls but referred us to Michael Pound, a Jeppesen communications officer, who told the Star he would consult someone at Jeppesen with expertise in this area and get back to us.

That was on September 21. On October 12 we sent him a reminder email. Still no response.

We emailed Nav Canada’s Singer and Ferrier and asked them to confirm the accuracy of the Star’s February article. Both told us it is accurate.

We then asked Singer what has changed, either in technology or in regulations, since 2014 when it was Jeppesen’s opinion that RNP could not be used for take-off in Castlegar or anywhere else. He said nothing has changed.

“Currently there are no RNP take-off procedures in Canada,” he said.

Singer had no comment on whether there were emerging techologies in other parts of the world that Jeppesen might recommend for Castlegar.

He said any new technology would have to be approved for use in Canada by Transport Canada.

 

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

LETTERS: In support of student climate strikers

From readers Tia Leschke and Sharon Inkpen

Kootenay Musical Theatre Society ready to make a deal with the Devil

The new group will put on an original show in October at the Capitol Theatre

Nelson councillor starts national municipal climate group

Climate Leadership Caucus has 57 members including seven mayors

RDCK to purchase portion of lands around Cottonwood Lake

21.6 hectares will be purchased for $450,000

Protective human chain forms around Victoria mosque for Friday prayer

Islanders stand arm-in-arm to show support in aftermath of New Zealand shootings

‘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

Protective human chain forms around B.C. mosque for Friday prayer

Vancouver Islanders stand arm-in-arm to show support in aftermath of New Zealand shootings

B.C. fire department offers tips to keep your home safe during wildfire season

With wildfire season getting closer, the Penticton Fire Dept. offer tips to keep your home safe

Rural Kootenay communities to receive high-speed internet upgrade

The provincial government is increasing internet connectivity to rural British Columbia

Fierce house cat spotted as ‘aggressor’ in face off with coyote in B.C. backyard

North Vancouver resident Norm Lee captures orange cat versus coyote in backyard showdown

Most Read