The Municipality of Kincardine has decided they oppose any changes to the municipal airport, including new flight plans and approaches proposed by Armow Wind turbines.
The decision came at the May 15, 2013 meeting of council. Deputy Mayor Anne Eadie sat in for Mayor Larry Kraemer who was away.
Charles Cormier, an aviation expert hired by Samsung-Pattern, reviewed the recent issues regarding certain turbines that will impact the airport.
Cormier created a proposal to alter flight paths and approaches to allow for the airport and the proposed turbines to coexist nearby.
The proposal was sent to NAV Canada, who approved Cormier’s changes.
In a letter dated May 14, 2013 to Jody Law of Samsung-Pattern, NAV Canada stated it “concurs with all proposed mitigations and agrees to withdraw our objection subject to review of delivered instrument procedure design files and our acceptance for publication in the Canada Air Pilot.”
Joshua Horst also addressed council on behalf of Genivar.
He provided a letter he wrote, dated May 15, 2013, regarding the airport.
It stated “the proposed mitigations, provided they are fully supported by NAV Canada, satisfactorily resolve any issues of airport IFR accessibility and will not take away from the existing usability of Kincardine Airport.”
The letter also added some recommendations to council regarding the issues. Horst suggested Cormier’s report “accurately considers the existing airport system, it does not investigate what impact of the proposed Armow Wind Project would have on the long-term development of the airport.”
Horst recommended the assessment be expanded to include proposed airport expansion plans, as developed by Genivar and submitted in a final draft to the airport committee and council.
He also recommended council approve the sharing of the draft long-term development plan with Samsung-Pattern and Cormier’s services be retained.
In response to council’s previous request to have local pilots and airport staff present to council, airport service provider Blake Evans, spoke to council.
“We have to look ahead,” said Blake, regarding possible expansion of the airport, runway and building hangers.
He said the proposed turbines near the airport has “caused a great deal of concern with a number of people, primarily pilots,” he said. “We’ve had nothing but good reviews from corporate pilots, private pilots … about our approaches. They work great, they’re very accurate and they create a large margin of safety.”
He recommended to council “this project be put on hold immediately” until the public has a chance to review the proposed changes and future development option.
He added the first draft of the master plan for the airport has been recently completed.
“Sustainability, serviceability and safety, and those are my priorities,” said Evans.
Councillor Ron Coristine said he’s wary of negotiating with wind companies.
“I really think it’s time to put a stop to this. … I am sick and tired of these people coming here and telling us how we’re going to live,” said Coristine.
Chris McCullough of the Canadian Owners and Pilots Association (COPA) also addressed council.
He said Law and Cormier met with interested pilots and COPA members among others to discuss Cormier’s proposal and answer any questions last week.
“The current GPS approaches are well received from pilots and they feel it shouldn’t be tampered with in any way,” said McCullough.
He also noted that marking and lighting turbines were a concern with pilots, along with wind turbulence and future growth of the airport.
“Though the motion was passed, we still look forward to working with the Municipality and addressing their concerns,” said Law in an email on May 16, 2013. “We are pleased that Genivar, as retained by the Municipality, and NAV CANADA independently agree that our proposed mitigations not only preserve the usability of the airport, but improve certain approaches as well.”
After a long discussion, council decided against any changes to the airport and will contact the Ministry of Environment regarding its opinion on the project. Council also agreed that staff will look into the option of a further assessment on the future of the airport and believe Samsung-Pattern should pay for it. Council set a 10-day timeline to await their answer.
Council will also hire a consultant and agreed to release the draft report to Law, who in turn will release it to Cormier.
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