Right to Quiet Society Noiseletter
Winter 2007 - page 5

Transportation Ministry's response to our letter

From: Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities / Ministre
des Transports, de l'infrastructure et des
Collectivite's <MINTC@tc.gc.ca>

Dear Mr. Schmid:

Thank you for your correspondence of November 1, 2006, to the Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, regarding aircraft operations in the vicinity of British Columbia's Lower Mainland. The Minister has asked me to reply on his behalf.

At the outset, I should explain that the regulation of aviation in Canada is the responsibility of Transport Canada. While major reductions in aircraft noise have occurred, it is not feasible to eliminate such noise completely. Newer aircraft are substantially quieter than their older counterparts, but there is still a large inventory of older smaller aircraft that remain in operation. Until these aircraft have reached the end of their service life, they will remain in active use. In the Vancouver area, most aviation activities involve large transcontinental aircraft, medium-sized regional aircraft, floatplanes, helicopters and small aircraft, all of which require the use of various aircraft routes. While many of these routes pass over water, some traverse populated areas, such as Vancouver. This is an unavoidable necessity.

As you may be aware, NAV CANADA is responsible for the day-to-day
management of Canada's airspace, including the design and publication of air traffic procedures and the provision of air traffic control services. In response to increased air traffic levels, NAV CANADA has instituted a study of the airspace structure around Vancouver. Under current legislation, NAV CANADA is not required to conduct environmental impact studies; however, I would encourage you to contact the NAV CANADA study group at aerostudy@navcanada.ca to voice your concerns. Aviation is a popular mode of travel and is an essential
component of the economic well-being of British Columbia. Given the topography of coastal British Columbia coupled with the growing demand for air service, an increase in the volume of air traffic is inevitable. Vancouver is the hub of the region's economy; it is also Canada's western gateway and a centre for culture and tourism. While the elimination of aircraft noise is not feasible, Transport Canada will work, where possible, with communities, aircraft operators, airports and NAV CANADA to reduce noise while maintaining a safe aviation system.

Should you have further concerns with respect to this matter, I would
invite you to contact Mr. Chris Cox, Regional Manager, Aerodromes and Air Navigation, Civil Aviation. For your ease of reference, his address is as follows:

Transport Canada, 620-800 Burrard Street, Vancouver BC V6Z 2J8
Telephone: 604-666-2103, Email: coxc@tc.gc.ca

I trust that the foregoing has clarified the department's position with respect to this matter. Thank you for writing.

Yours truly,

Sandeep Pandher, M.Eng
Special Assistant

Free Airshow Can't Fly in Vancouver (press release)

The Sea to Sky Airshow Society announced today that a planned Airshow over Spanish Banks in the summer of 2007 will not go ahead. This was to be a free show to the public offering four hours of flying by both civilian Airshow performers and some military aircraft. The Airshow would have taken place over the water off Spanish Banks where aerobatic displays would have been showcased with Vancouver's spectacular scenery. "Our intention was to bring a new, exciting Airshow to the city of Vancouver and also provide an event that would be accessible to those that can not afford the cost of a conventional air show," states Communications Chair, Triana Newton. "There has been amazing support for this event from so many sources, including the City of Vancouver, but it has become very clear that a few special interest groups and the Vancouver Parks Board do not share this vision."

"Though we were only planning a 4 hours flying show, it seems that these groups are


adverse to anything that would interrupt use of the beach for any length of time," remarked Ray Firkus, Air Ops Coordinator. "And then they cited environmental questions that would require years of study to properly evaluate. To amass the evidence necessary to address these concerns, we would need significant funding. A free Airshow doesn't have a lot of extra money to fund a study like that."

The society is now considering other locations for the show but had originally selected this location because of its access by both the
spectators and the aircraft. "There were a couple of road blocks we just can't overcome," said Board of Directors' Sue Andrews. "It really is a shame. Not too long ago I read an article about bringing the 'fun' back to Vancouver. If they only knew how difficult that is!"

The Sea to Sky Airshow Society is a non-profit society committed to the
promotion of aviation in the community.

Entire contents © 2006 Right to Quiet Society. Cartoon © 1996 Right to Quiet Society
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