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 if 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 80 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 Yukon Government has engaged a STUDY to justify New Regulations, and reducing, privitizing, giving away, or just closing facilities, AND many important Aviation users (including COPA) were denied input.
-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?
I started collecting and keeping track of my aviation encounters (Good, Bad, or confusing) in a document that I thought might be useful to everyone who deals in aviation. It developed into an aviation blog now called "WAR ON AVIATION _ THE BLOG" (click below). I also began collecting and posting the aviation correspondence, either sent by or received by me in defending "aviation". When I started I never anticipated it becoming so big, or damning of Government. I hope it can be of use to you.
BUT, I believe my personal experiences with the bureaucracies are only symptoms of a larger chronic condition. Please continue reading:
Judge for yourself - ;
Besides documenting Government behavior, 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 ;
- 2003 to Yukon MP
- 2003 Abuse by Transport Canada
- 2005 to Alaskan Senator Murkowski
- 2005 to Minister Glen Hart
- 2005 Plea to all Govt levels to talk
- 2005 Request for Clarification about lease
- 2005 2nd Request for clarification about hanger
- 2006 Plea to Mayor for discussion
- 2007 TC response to Law suit
- 2009 Airplanes in National Parks
- 2009 Enforcement Problems at Transport Canada
- 2010 Airport Problems Article
- 2010 Try to Build a Hanger on an airport in Yukon
- 2010 to YTG Minister Failing Infrastructure
- 2010 Response from Minister Archie Lang
- 2011 Quotes From YTG Supt. of Airports letter
- 2012 TC Minister - Aviation Bill of Rights
- 2012 Presentation to YTG
- 2012 Cuts at Flight Services in Whitehorse
- 2012 to TC re Investigation
- 2012 to COPA about ELTs
- 2012 Cuts at Flight Services in Whitehorse
- 2012 to YTG Minister about problems
- 2012 Response to YTG Minister
- 2013 1st Presentation to City of Whitehorse
- 2013 Yukon Government Fails to manage airports
- 2013 The Flight Before Christmas
- 2014 from TC- Closing Runway 19 is YTG idea
- 2014 To City of Whitehorse about Schwatka Lake Floatplanes
- 2014 To YTG Minister re Airports Act
- 2014 Letter from all Lease holders re introduction of contamination.
- 2014 Lease renewal needed
- 2014 Asking Lease questions.
- 2014 Draft Lease - offered then revoked w absurd conditions.
- 2014 To YTG Minister-Aviation and Marine Services is broken.
- 2015 2nd Presntation Schwatka Lake
- 2015 The War on Airplanes
- 2016 Trying to renew my Lease
- 2016 "Contaminated Soil is suitable for placing on your lease...".
- 2016 to Minister of Transport for Lease Conditions demanded
- 2016 30 Year lease issued to this hanger (photo).
- 2016 10 Year lease issued to this hanger (photo).
- 2016 No lease issued. for this hanger (photo).
- 2016 YTG Internal communication re my request for help (From ATIP).
- 2016 Airport Lease discussion in Yukon Legislature, April 22, 2016.
- 2016 Pilot Licence woes - TC staff follow new "Service Standards"
- 2017 YTG Call for Tender for ....what exactly?
- 2017 TC "Better Service" Poster.....(just don't come in to our offices)
- 2017 TC Fails to provide service ....(The e Mail trail that may end the CFPBS project)
- 2017 Call for change at Transport Canada (To Minster, MP, Media, & Mail list)
- 2017 COPA response to Minister Mostyn after hypocritical disregard to both process and civility!
- 2017 E Mail exchange re: Watson lake Fuel Problem - staff indifference.
- 2017 One businessman's response to YTG Aviation Review and efforts to eliminate airstrips.
- 2017 Whitehorse Star Editorial gets it right!.
- 2017 e Mail exchange with ADM: Acts/Regulations are legal...AVOP and Policy of the moment is NOT!.
- 2017 COPA Response to YTG Minister Mostyn's Confusion!.
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.
An Example of Absurd CYXY Procedures;
The Yukon Government has determined it needs a new Statute and Regulations. The draft version gives their employees authority to stop aircraft and pilots and engage in all kinds of 'compliance verification' activities. Below is a video I put together after a series of encounters with them already ;
These people need more legal authority so they can increase their "SECURITY" or "SAFETY" procedures ?
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.
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.
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.
ABOVE - is a bit of video I took in a frustrated moment after a whole summer of being denied access to my
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.
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.
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.