Please - Help Keep Aviation Alive in Yukon

Aviation is essential in the Yukon, but it is under pressure from two or three major sources. If you want to understand the dilema we face, or you just feel your tax-dollar should get more respect please read on;

Here are some facts;

- Over $ 7,500,000.00 is transfered from the Federal Governtment to the Yukon, every year, JUST to operate the existing airports, plus 'special project money' or 'infrastructure money'.

-The Yukon Aviation and Marine Services Branch has expanded to have MORE THAN 70 people employed to manage the 3 airports (if you count Dawson and Watson Lake) and 10 gravel strips .

-Key aviation facilities like runways and taxi-ways are deteriorating, services like maintenance is being cut, while administrative costs grow and unneccesary and poorly concieved capital projects are mismanaged.

-The Aeronautics Act and Canadian Air Regulations are unneccesarily complicated (to quote the Supreme Court of Canada), and deliberately so (to quote Transport Canada themselves; 'to give us lattitude in making rules").

-The relationship between the Federal and Territorial Governments has evolved to where it is disfunctional and a key factor in perpetuating the shell game of finance, power and risk.

 

How bad can this situation be?

When I started collecting and keeping track of my aviation encounters I envisioned a collection of information (Good and Bad) that might be useful to everyone who deals in aviation. It developed into an aviation blog (now called "WAR ON AVIATION _ THE BLOG") below. And, further down this page is my collection of correspondence with the Aviation Regulators, either sent by or received by me in defending "aviation". I hope it can be of use to you.

 

WAR ON AVIATION - THE BLOG

 

Broken Taxi-way

BUT, my personal experiences with the bureaucracies are, I believe, only symptoms of a larger chronic condition. Please continue reading:


Judge for yourself the cause of illogical conditions at Yukon Airports;

I decided to post my correspondence and let you judge for yourself. Below, in .pdf files, are some of the correspondence that I have delivered or exchanged in the pursuit of the survival of General Aviation. These were all sent, delivered in person, or received by me ;

A note of personal explanation;

If you managed to read through much of the correspondence posted above I believe you will recognize the big change by Yukon Government Officials since 2003. Where, early on, the tone of all interaction is cooperative and professional, over the last 10 years it has become something else entirely. I believe THIS IS NOT ONLY SELF-REPLICATING, IT IS GETTING MORE ABSURD.

It is still my belief that each of us should be treated equally, according to law, and respectfully. By posting these documents I hope to help other members of the flying public possibly avoid abusive behaviour, facilitate a healthy and active aviation industry, and maybe even create an environment where my son has the opportunity to fly in his lifetime.

 


Wasted Money

More Money Wasted: $300,000.00 was spent building these leased parking spots and installing tie-downs and electricity (twice...the first time was done incorrectly). Within 2 years the leases were cancelled and all the airplanes evicted in order to construct this "Sand Storage Shed". (YTG says there was just no other place on the whole 650 acre property to store sand ?)


MORE EFFICIENCY: Back this spring the lease holders around me all received an email from the Acting Airport Manager, Nigel Cripps, informing us our access gate was broken and requesting our patience as it would take a day to repair. It is August now, we have gone all summer without this access. Since my lease has room to drive across it, most people have been driving across my lease all summer.

Broken Gate

 


An Example of CYXY Priorities;

Below are some photos I just couldn't resist taking last winter. It snowed heavy last JANUARY 21, 2015. In the morning I went to the airport to go flying. At 0930 in the morning I found the entire vehicle parking lot at CYXY was already cleaned bare, as were all employee parking spots, and all the roads on the airport 'outside' the airport fence. But, as you can see in the photo I took that morning (left- below) no snow plow was moving on 'AIRSIDE'. I couldn't fly.

The next day I went back again, in the afternoon, and still NO snow plowing 'Airside'. I took more photos (center and right). It was 4 days before the Airport cleared in front of leases and I could get airborne.

No PLowing No Plowing No Plowing

 


 

ABOVE - is a bit of video I took in a frustrated moment after a whole summer of being denied access to my

hanger.


Is this behaviour really that surprising?

OVER THE PERIOD CONSIDERED ABOVE IT APPEARS THAT THESE ILLOGICAL EVENTS ARE BECOMING MORE FREQUENT. But then consider; of over 70 staff at YTG Aviation and Marine none have any aviation knowledge outside what they have gained in their existing jobs. That leaves them without referend knowledge to call 'Bullshit' on anything Transport Canada says. YTG go ahead and implement their poorly concieved cost cutting programs and zealous new rules, then blame Transport Canada when the public complains. But, Transport Canada denies responsibility for the decisions and strange rules, ( We have letters from Transport Canada stating this clearly).

But, since TC laws are so ambiguous the truth is not apparent and both Governments use the confusion to their advantage. Now, enter the third jurisdiction; the City of Whitehorse. They get to collect significant taxes, and permitting and inspection fees, and so are not immune from using interpretations of vague laws to achieve other objectives (like expansion of their sewage system). So no one can argue when no one knows what the rules are exactly, (TC even admitted directly that they prefer this as it “gives us more latitude to achieve what we want”).

Then finally we add a fourth factor. The airport occupies prime real estate and so is the focus of developers and commercial interests that can imagine bigger returns from non-aviation activities (photo Below), And, finally, we have a public that has incomplete understanding of what is actually going on.

Poor Safety

A Non-aviation "better" use of airport property. (ABOVE)

Everyone blames the others for the problem or , when asked to justify their actions, they claim the issues are far too complicated to explain.

A solution might be as simple as the whole thing is frustrating;

It is my opinion that, if the actual rules (the ‘LAW’) were available and understandable to the public everyone could get closer to what they needed. The bureaucracy would be forced to act in good faith, fairly, and consistently. The industry could meet all concerns, including safety more easily. The public would get improved services and lower costs. Lets ask our MP and MLA to pursue a re-write of all the Acts and Regulations in plain language.


But, what can i do about it?

Here is a draft letter you can download and edit to forward to the Minister of Transport in Ottawa, or to who ever you feel is competent authority;

Dear Minister ;

Private aviation in this country is frustrated by a hypocritical and inconsistent bureaucracy. A myth of safety shortcomings is being perpetuated as a means of job security. Within the industry we see a campaign of trendy “Safety Initiatives” by a growing bureaucracy that we are mandated to undertake, but in reality only add more administrative burden and take away from bottom lines, leaving less, not more time for safety.

A better use of resources would be to re-write the Aeronautics Act and the Canadian Air Regulations so that they can be understood by us, the flying public. Then I suggest you train the bureaucracy to apply them legally and consistently.

The cost savings would be significant, and safe procedures would be more easily identified and achieved with less waste in the industry.

Sincerely


 

Poor Street Sign


IF, you have concerns, or if you have examples of mismanagement or risks to public safety, contact me at the email below. If you can substantiate your claims we can help get some resolution.