Middle ground in dispute about trees at end of Comox airport runway?

Comox Valley Airport CEO Fred Bigelow says there could be a "middle ground" about tall trees poking into the airspace at the airport.

According to Comox Valley Airport CEO Fred Bigelow, there could be a “middle ground” regarding the issue of tall trees poking into the airspace at the airport.

Bigelow made the announcement during the Comox Valley Airport’s annual public meeting Wednesday, though he said he almost didn’t because the idea is just starting to be researched and could “completely go nowhere.”

Trees on three properties around the airport infringe on airport zoning regulations, and the property owners object to cutting them as they are nesting zones for herons. As a result, height limits on aircraft approaches were raised for commercial flights, and higher limits meant more flight cancellations and delays due to foul weather over the past winter.

Bigelow says he met with one of the landowners recently, and is looking into whether there is a middle ground solution because airport zoning regulations and the requirements to protect airspace for approaches are not always the same.

“In some cases there’s a significant difference,” he said Wednesday. “And this is something we just started working on very recently, in fact, just last week.”

Bigelow noted the logistics are very complex and the airport is working with CFB Comox to determine whether a compromise is a possibility.

“It’s entirely possible that some of the trees which would be ‘in violation of the airport zoning regulations’…that are a technical violation of the zoning regulations, might still be permissible and meet the needs of the airport operator and the aeronautical requirements because of the difference between the zoning regulations,” he explained, noting some could be left in tact and others could be cut a bit shorter.

However, he also stressed the investigation is in the early stages and it’s also very possible the idea won’t work out.

Meanwhile, he noted work to bury power lines around the airspace, ridding the area of power poles infringing on the airspace, is expected to be complete by the end of October.

He also noted the airport is still waiting to hear the Minister of National Defence’s decision about the landowner objections, but he could offer no timeframe on how long the legal process could take.

“Obviously, we’re anxious to see this come to resolution,” he said. “But, one of the good parts of living in Canada is that governments have to follow legal processes; sometimes one of the bad parts of living in Canada is governments have to follow legal processes, and so this is just the way it is.”

• • •

Richard Clarke is the newest member of the Comox Valley Airport Commission (CVAC) board of directors.

As a consultant specializing in public sector productivity and improvement, Clarke brings more than 37 years of public sector experience.

Clarke serves on the boards of several national organizations including the Rotary Foundation of Canada, the Institute of Citizen Centred Services and the Canadian Landmine Foundation. He is the president of the Comox Valley’s Dawn to Dawn homeless society.

Clarke fills the local governments’ nominee vacancy, a position formerly held by Daryl McLouglin. His appointment was endorsed earlier this month and he attended his first board meeting Sept. 18.

writer@comoxvalleyrecord.com

 

Just Posted

Affordable rental housing complex opens in Courtenay

The Braidwood facility will house 34 people at risk of homelessness

Applications open for record bursary, scholarship funding at North Island College

Current and future North Island College students can now apply for scholarships… Continue reading

Second Stage Players present laughter and love in We Are Family

Get your tickets early to see the Evergreen Club’s Second Stage Players’… Continue reading

Open house opens access for those suffering from vision loss

Pat Chicquen understands how isolating losing vision can be, which is why… Continue reading

Valley SPCA overwhelmed with 45 cats taken from local property

Many of the cats have never been around humans, or have never been touched or handled.

VIDEO: Restaurant robots are already in Canada

Robo Sushi in Toronto has waist-high robots that guide patrons to empty seats

Comox Valley Hospice Society finds new Ocean Front home

Comox Valley Hospice Society (CVHS) recently announced plans to construct a new… Continue reading

Permit rejected to bring two cheetahs to B.C.

Earl Pfeifer owns two cheetahs, one of which escaped in December 2015

Real-life tsunami threat in Port Alberni prompts evacuation updates

UBC study says some people didn’t recognize the emergency signal

Care providers call for B.C. seniors’ watchdog to step down

The association also asks the province to conduct an audit and review of the mandate of her office

Nitro Cold Brew Coffee from B.C. roaster recalled due to botulism scare

“If you purchased N7 Nitro Cold Brew Coffee from Cherry Hill … do not drink it.”

Short list for new gnome home includes Parksville, Coombs

Five potential locations have been chosen by Howard’s owners who will decide Tuesday

B.C. man gets award for thwarting theft, sexual assault – all in 10 minutes

Karl Dey helped the VPD take down a violent sex offender

Baby left alone in vehicle in B.C. Walmart parking lot

Williams Lake RCMP issue warning after attending complaint at Walmart Wednesday

Most Read