Page 1

Publications mail agreement #40934510

2019 Updated rules

on drones in Canada's airspace

Tarmac troubles:

How rural airports manage wildlife

New Canadian ULCCs could mean more business for Alberta's airports

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lloydminster.ca/airport Alberta Airports Management Association • 2019


Published by: DEL Communications Inc. Suite 300, 6 Roslyn Road Winnipeg, MB R3L 0G5

In this issue

President & CEO: David Langstaff Managing Editor: Shayna Wiwierski shayna@delcommunications.com

8 Message from the chairman of the AAMA, William Stewart, A.A.E.

Sales Manager: Dayna Oulion dayna@delcommunications.com

10 Taking flight: Airports use a variety of techniques to manage wildlife

Advertising Account Executives: Colin James, Mic Paterson

12 Increased flight service in regional Alberta airports leads to increased tenant diversity

Contributing Writers: Sterling Cripps, Melanie Franner, Taryn Rittberg Production services provided by: S.G. Bennett Marketing Services

14 More options, more revenue: The emergence of ULCCs could mean more business for regional airports

Art Director: Kathy Cable Advertising Art: Dave Bamburak, Dana Jensen

16 New regulations for the operations of RPAS in Canada

© Copyright 2019, DEL Communications Inc. All rights reserved. The contents of this pub­lica­tion may not be reproduced by any means, in whole or in part, without prior written consent of the publisher.

18 The often-overlooked training of long-term staff

While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained herein and the reliability of the source, the publisher­in no way guarantees nor warrants the information and is not responsible for errors, omissions or statements made by advertisers. Opinions and recommendations made by contributors or advertisers are not necessarily those of the publisher, its directors, officers or employees.

20 Worth the flight: The Town of Edson 22 Conveniently located: The Wetaskiwin Regional Airport

Publications mail agreement #40934510 Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to: DEL Communications Inc. Suite 300, 6 Roslyn Road Winnipeg, MB R3L 0G5 Email: david@delcommunications.com

24 Oh no. It's OLS assessment time again... 25 The ACE3tm distributed control and monitoring solution for ALCMS sets new industry standard 26 Staying aloft: Community airports struggle to survive


28 Runway ruminations The difference is in the paint

The Town of Edson’s strategic location on the Trans-Canada Yellowhead Highway allows Edson to benefit from private, commercial, and industrial traffic. Utilize our certified airport to connect to the Yellowhead County foothills, the Rockies Jasper National Park or to attend our many local events. We offer a variety of services for the travelling public including great accommodations, recreational facilities, our new Museum and Travel Information Centre, and the Kinsmen Spray Park to cool down the kids after a long day on the road. • Indoor Swimming Pool, Water Slide • 24 Ball Diamond Complex (Vision Park) • Additional 12 Ball Diamonds Throughout Town • Wilmore Provincial Park Campsite and Mountain bike trails.

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• 18 Hole Golf Course • Golf Driving Range • Hiking Trails • 2 Indoor Ice Arenas • 4 Outdoor Ice Rinks

• 8 Lane Bowling Alley • Theatre For Performing Arts • Rodeo Ghymkana Grounds • Rotary Skateboard Park

• 2 Tennis Courts • 2 Craft Centres • Galloway Station Museum • Public Library

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Alberta Airports Management Association • 2019

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Message from the chairman of the Alberta Airports Management Association

William Stewart, A.A.E. would not be ignored. When this program

new approach. As such, we have reached

rolls out in the next few years, it should be

out to all of our members to contact

apparent that small airports will be able to

their MLAs and make them aware of

adopt these new regulations smoothly.

the issue and our request for improved

The AAMA also participated in a coalition with other federal and provincial associations to work with Transport Canada on the Airports Capital Assistance Program, a federal program to provide funding to airports with scheduled air service. After


ello fellow Alberta Airport Management Association (AAMA)

a number of meetings with this coalition, the AAMA board decided that the Regional

funding. As chair, I have also reached out to key players in the province, including electoral hopefuls, in an attempt to bring this issue to light as the election looms. We will continue this campaign at full tilt until we see improvement in a poorly funded provincial program that serves our provincial airports.

Community Airports of Canada (RCAC)

These are just a few of the things that the

would best represent our needs on this

AAMA has been working on in 2018, and

topic. As such, the AAMA has stepped back

as you can see, we have been busy! 2019

from the coalition but continues to be

is shaping up to be another busy year

The AAMA has participated in federal

involved through our mutual agreement

with the AAMA serving the small airports

consultations for upcoming changes to

with RCAC.

of Canada. With our voices united, we

runway condition reporting regulations

Over the last three years, the AAMA board

and it was a good thing we were there! The

has identified improved provincial funding

realities of RSC reporting at small airports

of airports as a priority and 2018 was no

became a topic of debate a number of

different. After previous meetings with the

times during the consultation process, and

minister of transportation’s office, which

William Stewart, A.A.E.

the AAMA made it clear that our needs

have proven unfruitful, it was time for a

AAMA Chair

members. It’s hard to believe that

another year has already gone past us; 2018 was a very busy and productive year.

can make a difference and we will. Thank you for your continued support of this association, I am proud to be the chair of such a devoted and passionate group..

“We are the voice for a thriving & valued provincial network of community airports” The Alberta Airports Management Association (AAMA) was formed to present a forum and membership opportunity for airport operators to resolve common issues and problems. The Alberta Airports Management Association (AAMA) is composed of airport operators and companies/individuals associated with airport equipment, supplies and consulting. Member airports can expect to operate with minimal delays based on timely and accurate information provided by the association through direct consultation, newsletters, annual meetings, maintenance seminars and dialogue with other member airports. 8

Alberta Airports Management Association • 2019

Strengthening the Viability, Growth and Safety of Community Airports in Alberta

APPLICATION FOR MEMBERSHIP (Membership Year January 1st, 2019 - December 31st, 2019) NAME OF APPLICANT:






FAX: (



E-MAIL ADDRESS: _______________________________________________________________ CONTACT NAME:




AUTHORIZED SIGNATURE: Airport/Aviation related interests or affiliation:

2019 Registered Airport Operator (Annual Airport Fee)


2019 Certified Airport: Less Than 50,000 Passengers (Annual Airport Fee)


2019 Certified Airport: Over 50,000 Passengers (Annual Airport Fee)


2019 Bronze Membership Fee (Annual Corporate Rate)


2019 Silver Membership Fee (Annual Corporate Rate)


2019 Gold Membership Fee (Annual Corporate Rate)


Please return your application and cheque to: Box 2253, Athabasca, AB, T9S 2B8 admin@albertaairports.ca [Cheques made payable to the Alberta Airports Management Association or AAMA]





Taking flight Airports use a variety of techniques to manage wildlife By Shayna Wiwierski Since the Dawson Creek Regional Airport is located near a sewage lagoon directly north of the runway, they get a lot of birds, geese, and migrating birds wanting to land there and create nests.


irplanes aren’t the only things

vehicles), although they are looking into the

landing in Alberta airports.

possibility of fully fencing the airport in the

Airport operators play a key role


called The Goosenator to chase geese away. “It’s a remote-controlled predator that we use for the geese. The major thing we

in the risks associated with wildlife in and

Although they have a variety of techniques

do is we decide not to let any geese or

around airports. According to Transport

to deter wildlife, sometimes they have to

wildlife nest near the lagoons because what

Canada, the presence of wildlife in the

use unique methods to scare them off.

happens is when you let them nest in there,

“A couple years ago we had a flock of

the ones that are born there come back the

about 12 greater white-fronted geese – at

following years and nest there,” says Booth,

least that’s what we think they were – that

adding that within a couple of years, you

frequented the airport daily and stayed only

can easily quadruple the number of geese

on the grass areas in late fall. They were

living at your airport. “We don’t destroy the

vicinity of airports poses a safety risk for aircraft and their passengers and crew. Wildlife on runways can interfere with aircraft ground maneuvers and birds in the air can interfere with aircraft that are landing or taking off. The most common

impossible to scare off, nothing phased

eggs or anything, but destroy the nests

form of wildlife to inhabit these areas are

them, not even an aircraft taxiing beside

before they lay eggs so it forces them to

geese, snow geese, mallards, seagulls,

them or a helicopter flying over,” says

nest somewhere else.”

coyotes, and owls. Since many of these

Gauthier. “After many attempts to scare

species are urban-tolerant, they tend to find

them with scare shells and chasing, we had

suitable habitats close to human activity,

a closer look as to what they were attracted

including airports.

to – clover patches! So, we mixed hot sauce

Pierre Gauthier, manager at the Slave Lake

with water and sprayed it on the patch of

Airport in Alberta, says that they get an

clover. It worked! However, they just moved

assortment of wildlife entering the airport

to the next patch, so we sprayed that one

every year, with their biggest issue being

and so on, until it snowed and then they

gulls, geese, and deer. He says that many

left and have yet to return.”

small birds and a couple coyotes frequent

A little farther west at the Dawson Creek

the airport but they are less of a nuisance.

Regional Airport, they use a similar variety

Since they are located on the shores of

of methods to scare away wildlife. Since

the Lesser Slave Lake, that makes it an attractive location for birds. The airport uses various tactics to deter wildlife from the premises, such as scare shells for gulls and

the airport is located near a sewage lagoon directly north of the runway, they get a lot of birds, geese, and migrating birds wanting to land there and create nests.

geese. They are also only partially fenced,

Rodney Booth, supervisor for airfield

which doesn’t help with keeping deer and

maintenance for the Dawson Creek Airport,

coyotes out (which they chase out with

says that they use a remote-controlled tool


Booth works closely with Margo Supplies

Alberta Airports Management Association • 2019

Typically, the spring and fall are the worst time for wildlife management for the Dawson Creek airport because the Canada geese are coming up and everything is frozen.

Rodney Booth, supervisor for airfield maintenance for the Dawson Creek Airport, says that they use a remotecontrolled tool called The Goosenator to chase geese away.

Ltd., a wildlife management company in High River, Alta. who supplies many airports with their wildlife control products. Since Dawson Creek’s airport is in a unique position near lagoons, the company sends them different products to try out. Booth says that they have tried cannons, which tend to work to a certain degree, as well as cracklers, bangers – which work the best – and lasers. They use a product called avian lasers, which you point at the lead goose in a flock, and as soon as it gets the visual it turns around. They also use bird tape, which helps prevent geese from landing since it reflects sunlight. For seagulls, they like using distress signals, which is through speakers on a pickup truck. He says that most times distress signals work, but it can often attract them as well since they think someone is injured and they get curious to check it




out. Typically, the spring and fall are the worst time for wildlife management for the Dawson Creek airport because the Canada geese are coming up and everything is frozen. Since the tarmac is relatively clear and warm, they will want to land there. Booth says the worst instance he has seen is when over 5,000 seagulls were sitting on the runway. “There was a medivac coming in at the same time wanting to land so we had to go out there and eradicate all the seagulls. It took a while, but we got them off and got the medivac in,” says Booth. “That was in the

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spring and everything was frozen and the sunlight was heating up the asphalt; they didn’t want to move for either a plane or a pickup. The only way to deal with them is to eradicate them and that was quite the

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Regional Airport

process.” Alberta Airports Management Association • 2019


Increased flight service in regional Alberta airports leads to increased tenant diversity By Taryn Rittberg


n the past 50 years, air travel has

on long-term parking, short-term parking,

businesses do not have to contend with.

become part of 21st century life as

and rental car facilities which make up

While there is guaranteed foot traffic

much as car and bus travel. For those in

this category. Then there are the airport

to and from the airport, these tenants

large cities with large airports, the amenities

tenants whose businesses are directly

are also reliant on which air service

available to us are mostly taken for granted.

related to aviation, such as flying lessons,

providers run in and out of a particular

However, when considering the tenants

helicopter rides, etc. The final group of

airport. As more of the large airlines look

of regional airports, the influence that

tenants are those that provide services to

to communities in Alberta, such as Red

increased air traffic rates has on the variety

travellers, such as convenience stores that

Deer and Grande Prairie, the benefits of

of tenants is definite.

sell books, magazines, and snacks, as well as

being a tenant of these airports will only

restaurants for those waiting for a flight, and


Regional airport tenants can be organized into three primary categories which are easily recognized. First you have businesses

stores selling a variety of last-minute travel necessities.

For instance, increased traffic can be seen at the Medicine Hat Airport, where

involved with passenger transportation.

Being a tenant of an airport comes with

WestJet began operations less than a

Companies whose business models focus

a variety pros and cons which other

year ago.


Alberta Airports Management Association • 2019

“Traffic has more than doubled since June

drive to larger cities. The hope is that more

22 [2018] when [WestJet] started flight. I

car rental services will start to see smaller

would suggest that it’s almost exclusively

airports as not just viable business locations,

new travellers,” says Jeff Huntus, Medicine

but necessary locations to continue to

Hat airport’s manager.

compete in the market.

While there is guaranteed foot traffic to and from the airport, tenants are also reliant on which air service providers run in and out of a particular airport.

In addition to the big airlines, there is also the low-cost/budget airlines who are taking an interest in some of Alberta’s smaller airports. Red Deer Airport CEO Graham Ingham feels quite optimistic about the future as they have a lot of interest from the low-cost air carriers. “It’s all about having the right service. We’ve never had an ultra-low-cost carrier in Canada,” says Ingham. “We’ve got Swoop now in the marketplace, and there are two others hoping to jump in, in 2019.” For regional airports, these new routes and services will increase the airport tenant

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Alberta Airports Management Association • 2019


More options, more revenue The emergence of ULCCs could mean more business for regional airports By Shayna Wiwierski

The Red Deer Regional Airport is the province’s fourth busiest airport.


he Canadian aviation industry has recently seen changes thanks to the sudden emergence of ultra-low-cost carriers


The ULCC model isn’t new to the industry, however, thanks to a change in foreign ownership rules for Canadian airlines back in 2016, where the federal government allowed international companies to own up to 49 per cent of airlines, up from the previous 25 per cent, this enabled greater access to risk capital, and ultimately the birth of the ULCC model here in the country. The ULCC model is the fastest-growing, most profitable business model worldwide and offers a no-frills, a la carte service to flyers, meaning that the base fare includes just the seat/seat belt and Swoop, one of Canada’s ULCCs, is owned by WestJet and started scheduled service in summer 2018. Photo courtesy of Swoop. 14

Alberta Airports Management Association • 2019

a personal item to travel with. If passengers want

Red Deer Regional Airport has lower airport fees – around an $8,000 difference – compared to Calgary’s airport. In addition, Red Deer has access to three-million people within 90 minutes, which is attractive to the ULCCs.

The Red Deer Regional Airport will need to expand their terminals, apron, and parking lot to appeal to more ULCCs. They will also need to widen and harden their main runway in the future as well.

to bring a carry on, checked bag, or select

which is attractive to the ULCCs. Recent

back into the scheduled market and using

their seat or priority board, that comes with

studies indicate that there is a strong and

the ultra-low-cost model as our basis.”

an added cost.

proven demand for air travel in central

Since this business model needs to maintain low-operating costs, ULCC airlines such as Swoop, Flair, and soon,

Alberta, with just over 750,000 passengers travelling annually and generating close to $250 million in airline revenue. Since there is a large market for

for low-cost airports to operate out of,

opportunity in Red Deer, Ingham has

which is good news for those in smaller

been in touch with three of the four

communities and travelers near big

ULCCs operating in Canada. He says that


he has a letter of intent from one of them

Graham Ingham, CEO of the Red Deer

and strong interest from the other two,

Regional Airport, the province’s fourth

however, they need to first do some work

busiest airport, is optimistic about this

on their end to meet the standards set

business model and what it could mean

out by these companies. The airport will

for future service to Red Deer and central

need to expand their terminals, apron, and


parking lot. They will also need to widen

amongst the other things that [ULCCs] look

by the end of 2019, pending aircraft delivery. Morgan says that they will operate with brand-new airplanes at high density

Canada Jetlines and Enerjet, typically look

“In addition to [having] low operating costs,

Enerjet is expected to be up and running

and high volume. Although he won’t say where they are considering to fly out of at the moment, he says that they are looking at all markets that can be stimulated by adding new flyers to it. He adds that they don’t want to take away traffic from other airlines, but to generate new traffic, which is good for everyone involved, including all the businesses they will fly to. More airline business means more jobs for

and harden their main runway in the future

communities, more tax revenue, economic

as well.

diversification, regional growth, and more financial sustainability.

for in an operating perspective are low-cost

One of the newest players in the ULCC

airports,” says Ingham, who mentions that

market is Enerjet Airlines, which is owned

“When we look at this, [we ask] where

Air Canada stopped their scheduled service

by one of the founders of WestJet, Tim

can we stimulate the market, where is it

from the area at the end of October 2018.

Morgan. The airline has been around since

that the market is most going to react to

“And that’s where the likes of Red Deer

2008 and has been operating large aircraft

our low fares? That’s where we’ll fly. And,

come into play, as well as other airports

in Canada, the U.S., and around the world

how will we get into it? It’s all about price.

like Abbotsford, Hamilton, potentially

with mainly charter services.

We Canadians are smart with our money;

Kitchener/Waterloo, that are kind of under-

“We’ve done a fair bit of flying around the

we like cheap fares and we know how to

world. What we’ve done most recently is

use the Internet to find them. That’s how

Ingham says that the Red Deer Regional

look at the business and decide that we

we’ll do it,” says Morgan. “We’ll say, ‘hey,

Airport has lower airport fees – around an

would get back into the scheduled airline

we can offer you the experience and offer

$8,000 difference – compared to Calgary’s

business, and that’s where Enerjet is at

you the things you might want to do at a

airport. In addition, Red Deer has access

the moment,” says Morgan. “We are just

price point you can afford.’ We will make it

to three-million people within 90 minutes,

retooling our airline to launch ourselves

simple and easy and give you value.”

utilized in the current environment.”

Alberta Airports Management Association • 2019


New regulations for the operations of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) in Canada

By Sterling Cripps, Canadian Unmanned In Canada, there are now over 50 organizations and companies that provide an RPAS ground school across the country that teach the knowledge requirement for RPAS operators in accordance with the Transport Canada document.


n January 9th 2019, Transport Canada announced the new Remotely Piloted Air Systems (RPAS) regulations to come into effect on June 1, 2019. This work has been

a culmination of over eight years of work, with input from both government and industry sources. First of all, what this means is that anyone who plans to fly or operate an RPAS that weighs between 250 g and 25 kg for fun, work, or research must register the RPAS with Transport Canada. Your drone will then be identified with a unique serial number which

into flight for recreational purposes and that is not designed to carry persons or other living creatures. Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV): means a power-driven aircraft, other than a model aircraft, that is designed to fly without a human operator on board. Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA): means a navigable aircraft, other than a balloon, rocket, or kite, that is operated by a pilot who is not on board.

will be applied to the body of the drone for identification purposes.

Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS): means a set of configurable

Failure to do so could result in fines exceeding $1,000 for those who

elements consisting of a remotely piloted aircraft, its control station, the

do not wish to follow the guidelines.

command and control links, and any other system elements required

These rules will now be found in Part 9 of the Canadian Aviation

during flight operation.

Regulations (CARs) and can be viewed on the Transport Canada

These rules have been put into place for safety reasons to protect other

website. Part 9 is a new section of the CARs which has been

airspace users and the public on the ground. In Canada, commercial

developed and established for governing the use of RPAS in Canada.

pilots are reporting close encounters with drones during flights

Transport Canada considers a RPAS or drone an aircraft, and the

on a daily basis. These occurrences are a result of ill-informed RPAS

operator of this equipment is considered a pilot. Therefore, pilots are

operators, or just plain bad operators who have not taken the time or

legitimate airspace users and are responsible for the safe operations

effort to learn what the rules are. Operating a drone within controlled

and airspace awareness.

airspace and within 5.6 kilometres of an airport are prohibited unless you have the proper training and credentials through permission of


Transport Canada to do so.

Model aircraft: means an aircraft, including an unmanned aircraft

These threats to aviation and to the general public on the ground can

commonly known as a drone, the total weight of which does not

be reduced and eliminated through education. It must begin with the

exceed 35 kg (77.2 pounds), that is mechanically driven or launched

retailer who sells the RPAS, but more importantly, the responsibility is


Alberta Airports Management Association • 2019

placed on the individuals who fly them. In Canada, there are now over

training company is a mandatory requirement from Transport

50 organizations and companies that provide a RPAS ground school

Canada to successfully obtain a certificate to fly a drone. On June

across the country that teach the knowledge requirement for RPAS

1, 2019, the ground school will only be strongly recommended,

operators in accordance with the Transport Canada document:

therefore not mandatory.

TP15263 - Knowledge Requirements for Pilots of Remotely Piloted Aircraft

Moving forward, as a legitimate operator flying a drone for

Systems 250 g up to and including 25 kg, Operating within Visual Line-of-

professional purposes, it would behoove you to not to approach

Sight (VLOS) - https://www.tc.gc.ca/en/services/aviation/publications/

a ground school that would prepare you for the exam. Most


companies and government departments that are now operating

In order to operate a RPAS legally in Canada, each operator will have to challenge one of two online written exams, either basic or advanced

drones professionally insist their employees are properly trained and educated before they are permitted to fly.

to become certified. Basic operators may only fly in G Class Airspace

If you are currently operating a drone for fun or work, the next step

(uncontrolled) and must remain clear of persons not part of the flight

is to visit the Transport Canada website and read through the rules

crew by no less than 30 metres and remain clear of aerodromes and

and requirements about operating a drone. Determine which path

airports. Advanced operators will be able to operate with five metres

you are going to take and then fly responsibly. Failure to do so, as

of personnel not associated with the flight crew, and can operate

mentioned earlier, can result in fines, as well as jail time if the flight

within controlled airspace and within airdromes provided they have

infraction is serious enough.

Nav Canada permission and meet the safety and organizational criteria

Current Rules:

to do so.


The TP15263 covers the comprehensive aviation-based material that is

New Rules:

required by Transport Canada for each operator to know and comply


with. Challenging the exam without study and preparation will, in


most cases, result in a failed grade, waste of money, and frustration. Under the current regulations, a ground school from an accredited

Definition: Interim Order No. 9 Respecting the Use of Model Aircraft.

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The oftenoverlooked training of long-term staff By William Stewart

Global Airport Training Services student doing runway reporting.


Alberta Airports Management Association • 2019


hen a new staff member is brought on board it is

way of doing things. Unfortunately, if only the most junior

accepted practice that they will receive training

of staff have attended a training course explaining the

in all aspects of their jobs. Unfortunately, after

most recent regulations and techniques, your experienced

this point it is all too common to have that staff member

employees will miss out on the opportunity to see these new

forgotten about for years to come. Even as new staff comes

items for themselves.

on board, the tenured staff are often overlooked for recurrent training. This practice of overlooking experienced staff for

By following outdated regulations and old industry standards,

training can cause serious problems at your airport and may

your senior staff open the airport and its operator to liability.

even cause legal troubles down the road.

If an accident or incident occurs, investigators will be looking

By educating new staff with the most recent regulations and techniques, it opens the door to conflicting expectations for the same task. This can cause resentment amongst staff as senior employees may expect the new staff member to do things against training by following the old ways. It’s hard to blame the senior staffer – they don’t know any better – but in

at every small detail from runway conditions to staff training. If airport staff are not following the most current standards of a task, this may be seen as a fault of the airport operator and result in litigation, possibly to the tune of millions of dollars. Suddenly the cost of sending experienced staff to have their training updated seems like a good investment!

the end the junior employee may abandon their training and

With years of experience, senior staff are paramount to

carry on the tradition of “this is how we’ve always done it”.

running a safe and efficient airport. Part of providing these

If I had to pick one phrase that causes more grief during

staff members with the tools that they need includes updated

training courses than all the others, it is “but we’ve always

and recurrent training. A lack of current training can result

done it this way”. The blind, steadfast approach to a task can

in poor relations between senior and junior staff, incorrectly

derail even the best of teachers. However, as information

completed tasks, and in the worst-case scenario, litigation.

is explained and regulations are pointed out, even the

An investment in training now can save you and your

staunchest old timer will come around and accept the new

organization down the road.



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Operations Economic Inc. Vancouver V6E 3X2 T: 1-604-417-5642 operationseconomics.com

HIGH RIVER REGIONAL AIRPORT Private and Commercial lots available as well as tie downs. Don’t miss this opportunity! A great alternative to sitting on the pavement in line waiting to take-off! Phone 403-601-1654

airportmanager@hrmdf.net Alberta Airports Management Association • 2019


Worth the flight The Town of Edson airport makes air travel attractive for those wanting to visit the region


he Town of Edson airport continues to boom. With more and more traffic each year and scheduled public events, the airport is quickly becoming a hub of activity in the

community. Edson’s transportation services manager Sam Shine says he is excited about the growth happening at the airport. “There are plenty of exciting opportunities to explore with the airport being so close to the mountains and the city of Edmonton,” says Shine. Edson, Alta. is located 200-kilometres west of Edmonton, and 165 kilometres from the municipality of Jasper within Jasper National Park. The region is rich in tourism opportunities, including mountain bike parks, hiking, fishing, rafting, culture tourism, and much more. Shine says the Edson airport is a busy place, but they are more than up to the task.

Edson, Alta. is located 200-kilometres west of Edmonton, and 165 kilometres from the municipality of Jasper within Jasper National Park.


Alberta Airports Management Association • 2019

The airport will soon be the host of a tailgate sale and Aircraft Show ‘n’ Shine.

“We have a lot of private charter passenger aircrafts making use of our facility, helicopter operators, and flights servicing local industry for crew moves. There’s a large forestry base at the airport as well so it’s always buzzing with activity.” The Edson airport boasts a 6,000-foot runway, certified 3C NP, which is maintained to a high standard year-round. There is also an opportunity to lease lots and build hangars, making it a great base of operations for private aircraft owners. Commercial space is also available for lease. Along with the regular airport operations, Shine and his staff have been busy supporting the community through school tours and organizing annual events. The airport will soon be the host of a tailgate sale and Aircraft Show ‘n’ Shine. Details on these events can be found at www.

The Edson airport boasts a 6,000-foot runway, certified 3C NP, which is maintained to a high standard year-round.

edson.ca as they become available. For more information on the Edson airport, people are encouraged to visit www.edson.ca/departments/airport, or call airport manager Sam Shine at 780-723-4010.

Alberta Airports Management Association • 2019


Conveniently located:

The Wetaskiwin Regional Airport


he Wetaskiwin Regional Airport

Wetaskiwin Regional Airport is in a perfect

is expected to double for 2019. The

(CEX3) is centrally located between

location for civil aviation business and flight

Wetaskiwin Regional Airport is unique

Edmonton and Red Deer—with


in that it allows seasonal fly-in access to

less than an hour’s drive to either city.

In 2018, 30 new pilots were trained and

the Canadian Aviation Hall of Fame, as

Positioned in uncontrolled airspace, the

received their pilot’s license. This number

well as the Reynolds-Alberta Museum.


Alberta Airports Management Association • 2019

The Wetaskiwin Regional Airport is unique in that it allows seasonal fly-in access to the Canadian Aviation Hall of Fame, as well as the Reynolds-Alberta Museum.

The museum offers visitors vintage biplane rides from Victoria Day to Labour Day using the attached taxiway and CEX3’s 3,800-foot runway. Pilots can also fly in and visit the Aviation Hall of Fame, with museum apron parking available and no landing or tie-down fees at the airport. Once you land, feel free to tour around and experience all that Wetaskiwin has to offer. An eclectic mix of historic and modern, Wetaskiwin is well known for its plethora of independent restaurants, offering quality fare at reasonable prices. There are multiple accommodation options if you’re looking to stay for a bit, and Wetaskiwin is home to a variety of recreational activities such as golf courses, scenic trails, and a modern aquatic facility complete with a board rider. The Wetaskiwin Regional Airport is also a great place for aviation business with the unique ability to complete aircraft maintenance on site. You can easily obtain aircraft rentals/charters, aircraft restoration expertise, aerial photography services, and land specifically reserved for hangar development that you can own. Most pilots dream of being able to fly out of their backyard. In Wetaskiwin, that’s a reality. Wetaskiwin is a great community and the Wetaskiwin Regional Airport provides access to it all. Just ask the Wetaskiwin Flying Club over a coffee on the third Saturday of every month at the CEX3 terminal! Call 780.361.4449 for details.

The Wetaskiwin Regional Airport is a great place for aviation business with the unique ability to complete aircraft maintenance on site.

Alberta Airports Management Association • 2019


Oh no. It’s OLS Assessment time again…. Automated tree count and identification.


Submitted by ASAP Geomatix

(obstacle limitation

good enough, it won’t capture all obstacles

rates, runway expansion projects, improved

surface) is defined

along the OLS path, as most ground lasers

approaches with increased traffic, better

by Transport Canada

can only physically operate 200 metres. A

budgeting for line painting and crack

as “a surface that establishes the limit to

typical OLS extends to 3,000 metres. What

repair, increased communication with flight

which objects may project into the airspace

this means is, while you may get the first

information providers, and most of all, less

associated with an aerodrome so that

row of trees penetrating your OLS, you will

stress for those airport managers trying to

aircraft operations at the aerodrome may

have to cut them down to re-survey and find

keep everyone flying safely.

be conducted safely.” Reference TP312 5th

any behind them. This puts ground-based


surveys into the unpredictable category for

If you are new to managing an airport and

success or failure.

are struggling with LiDAR data, or have been

A complete map of your OLS including

around enough to see the trials of printing

obstacles, imagery, terrain, and more can

huge paper maps and placing them on the

solve the problem of identifying obstacles.

hangar floor to make sense of what obstacles you have at your airfield, you are not alone.

ASAP Geomatix is a sister company of ASAP Avionics. With a background in military and

An OLS should be performed every five years

civilian aviation for 40 years, ASAP Geomatix

and indicates the nature of all obstacles

was born with a great legacy. In 2012,

surrounding your airfield and whether

Geomatix started producing 3D aerial maps

towers, buildings, or trees are penetrating

at resolutions and clarity never previously

the last line of defence for an approaching

attempted. The idea was to collect data for

aircraft. While instrument-guided approaches

project-specific area coverage, so that very

identified in IFR approach plates are meant

high-resolution data may be more cost

for indicating how an aircraft will safely reach

effective and widely available.

your airfield, the OLS will make sure that once they arrive on final, they will land safely obstacle-free.

Geomatix turned its hand to forestry and has performed automated tree assessments identifying millions of tree

“I performed a visual check and couldn’t see

“targets” autonomously with height, location,

any obstacles; we have no trees and nothing

canopy size, and more. We later aimed this

has changed; trees grow so slowly how

technology towards solving the problem

could it be a problem?” These are thoughts

of OLS analysis. Most clients are impressed

that some may have about the OLS, but this

when seeing all obstacles highlighted on

isn’t just about common sense. Performing

their browser, when logged into their data. It

an OLS assessment is not only a required

is a far cry from the frustration and confusion

element for a certified airfield, but it is also

surrounding raw LiDAR data or paper charts.

about consumer safety when aircraft are using an airfield.

Screenshot of online account with property boundaries and penetrating obstacles identified by ID number and colourrepresenting level of encroachment.

While the solution is evolving, it gives rise to new opportunities and a forward-thinking

Technology for gathering aerial 3D data and

approach to managing airports, with all of

the services surrounding it are much less

the information at any computer you log

expensive and easier to acquire than in the

into. We’ll be looking forward to seeing two-

past. While a ground laser survey may seem

year plans, flood prediction, tree growth


300-million point colour Pointcloud created during processing.

Alberta Airports Management Association • 2019

GIS software showing collected data, OLS lines, and penetrating obstacles.

The ACE3™ distributed control and monitoring solution for ALCMS sets new industry standard


DB SAFEGATE’s ACE3 boasts a full-colour interactive touchscreen display, enhanced communication options and input/output expandability, providing major

advancements in readability, monitoring, and system flexibility. ADB SAFEGATE recently launched an exciting new distributed control and monitoring solution for airfield lighting control and

remote interface between the ALCMS and any controllable element

monitoring systems (ALCMS) with the potential for up to eight

in the airfield lighting vault, or as a stand-alone monitoring unit for

times the input/output capacity as previous models. The ACE3

a constant current regulator (CCR). When integrated into an ADB

is backward compatible with ADB SAFEGATE’s ACE1, ACE2, and

SAFEGATE CCR, advanced monitoring capabilities that are typically

Liberty DCMU units, and upgrading any of these systems to the

only seen in an advanced ALCMS are provided directly on the ACE3.

ACE3 is a simple process. It is the first such unit to offer a full-colour

It is a universal device used to control any type of CCR or other

LCD touchscreen display, as well as multiple communication

controlled element, regardless of the manufacturer, and includes

protocols and connection types.

all the functionality required for the controlled element. The failsafe

“The ACE3 represents the heart of ADB SAFEGATE’s airfield lighting distributed control system,” says Joe Pokoj, CEO Americas, ADB

mode of each ACE3 unit is defined per the requirements of the airport.

SAFEGATE Americas, LLC. “Distributed control technology is more

In a distributed control scenario, each ACE3 unit is installed at or

cost-effective and expandable than traditional centralized control,

near a controllable item (CCR, generator, ATS, etc.) to communicate

and fewer components and interchangeable parts make it easier to

in real-time with the airfield lighting control network and execute

install and maintain. The ACE3 has been designed to meet the top

remote lighting commands. Connections can be made via serial or

priority monitoring needs of our airport customers.”

ethernet, and multiple ACE3 units can be daisy-chained together,

The ACE3 graphical user interface (GUI) is a seven-inch full-colour LCD touchscreen display. The display allows monitoring of all values

making system expansion easy. The ACE3 can also communicate wirelessly, creating a backup to the hardwire communications.

on one screen, and includes a live input/output waveform viewer,

The ACE3 has already been selected by Toronto Pearson

local IRMS trending graph, localized event/alarm database, and

International Airport (YYZ) and Boston Logan International (BOS)

much more, all viewable from the display. The ACE3 is configured

airports as part of their constant current regulator modernization

locally via the display, without the need for an external PC, and

programs. Toronto has given ADB SAFEGATE a contract for more

allows airports to customize monitoring of energy use.

than 230 units, while Boston is installing approximately 100 units.

The ACE3 (advanced control equipment) can operate either as the

To learn more, visit the ADB SAFEGATE product centre online.

Ferroresonant CCR integrated with ACE3 distributed control technology.

Combo Box assembly is a wall-mount option that houses the ACE3 unit, IRMS board and CVM2.

The ACE3 graphical user interface allows easy monitoring of all values and system configuration from one screen.

Alberta Airports Management Association • 2019


Staying aloft: Community airports struggle to survive By Melanie Franner

In 2012, the Rainblow Lake Airport had 845 landings, whereas in 2018 they only had 242. Since the area is largely dependent upon energy resources, the airport busness reflects this.


lberta small-town airports may have to deal with more than just inclement weather. Lack of

provincial or federal funding and ongoing budget shortfalls have put many in jeopardy. Dan Fletcher is the airport manager of Rainbow Lake Municipal Airport in a town where the population hovers at around 1,000. The area is largely dependent upon energy resources and the airport business reflects this. “Last year, we had 242 landings,” explains Fletcher. “In 2012 when things were busier in the oil patch, we had 845 landings. Passenger movements last year were 3,163. In 2012, that number was 6,607.” According to Fletcher, the annual budget shortfall is between $200,000 to $250,000. Rainbow Lake Municipal Airport currently 26

does not have an active fuel surcharge. But Fletcher can’t promise that this won’t change. One thing that has changed recently is the airport’s certification. “We voluntarily suspended our certificate in September 2018 while we undergo some structural changes,” explains Fletcher, who adds that he hopes to attain recertification by the end of 2020. The certification will enable the airport to get licensed scheduled service back into its mix and will reopen funding opportunities through Transport Canada’s Airports Capital Assistance Program (ACAP). Fun in the sun Over at the Camrose Airport, traffic is primarily recreational. The airport is located in a town of around 18,500. It handles about 5,000 take offs and landings per year.

Alberta Airports Management Association • 2019

“Our funding varies,” explains Wayne Steel, airport manager. “There is a limited amount of user fees that compensate for the operating and maintenance costs. We’re better off than some of the smaller airports that rely entirely on tax payers.” According to Steel, the Camrose Airport recovers approximately 40 per cent of its operating costs from these user fees. The remaining 60 per cent is subsidized by tax payers. For the past 35 years, the airport had been operating a flight school that also helped with the funding. Unfortunately, a business decision put an end to that revenue stream three years ago. Steel cites the trend in the U.S. where many of the smaller airports are being forced to consolidate to survive. “It’s a tough row to hoe these days,” he says.

“We’re ineligible for any federal funding because we don’t have any scheduled service.” Out in front Rocky Mountain House Airport is located in a town of around 7,200. But it prides itself on being the aerobatic capital of Canada. There are a couple of helicopter companies that are based at the airport, along with a couple companies that rent out light twins for business. Another important feature of the airport is that it is a tanker base. “If we have a fire, it is insanely busy,” explains Ken Fowler, airport manager, Rocky Mountain House Airport. “We can have a landing and take-off occur every three to five minutes.” The airport is fortunately funded through town and county (50/50), along with fuel flowage and leasing revenue.

The Rocky Mountain House Airport's annual budget is around $300,000. About $60,000 of that comes from the town and county. Most of the revenue comes from the fuel flowage, which is $0.05/litre.

According to Fowler, the annual budget is around $300,000. About $60,000 of that comes from the town and county. Most of the revenue comes from the fuel flowage, which is $0.05/litre. “If we have two large fires that last a couple of weeks each, then the town and county don’t end up having to contribute,” says Fowler, who recalls only one year in the past when a fire did not occur. “Alberta forestry is the most aggressive forestry division in the world, which is paid for by the oil patch.” One of the business philosophies that Fowler prides himself on is keeping his community informed. “We have a very strong public relations program for an airport,” he explains. “If there is a fire, we make sure that our community knows about how the bombers are saving the forests. But we also make sure that they are aware of how those bombers are also paying for the airport. It’s easier to get funding during tough times if you keep your community informed during both the good and bad times.”

Alberta Airports Management Association • 2019


Runway ruminations The difference is in the paint By Melanie Franner

Marshall Lines 2014 has had to fix a lot of mistakes over the years when it comes to runway paint and markings. 28

Alberta Airports Management Association • 2019


he devil is in the details. And when it comes to runway markings and standards, this old adage certainly

rings true. According to Transport Canada, all certified airport operators must meet the standard TP312 – Aerodrome Standards and Recommended Practices with respect to markings, including chromaticity and luminance. The last update, TP312 5th Edition, took place on July 31, 2015. The costs inherent in not being compliant can be significant. Only a phone call away “Over the past few years, I have had to fix lots of other people’s mistakes,” states Brady Beazer, owner, Marshall Lines 2014. “It happens every year. I get that crisis phone call.” According to Beazer, the paint used on runways can be the culprit in many of these situations, along with the markings themselves. “I recently went to one airport where the lines were off by 60 centimetres,” he says. “You’re only allowed so much forgiveness in the layout of the lines and that can affect the whole runway to meet standard." In these types of cases, Beazer has to resort to grinding out the lines or to using highpressure water blasting, both of which are time-consuming and costly. “Dependant on the size of the airport, this cost alone could be upwards of $30,000,” he says. Regardless, it’s a mistake that airport operators do not want to make. To that end, Beazer ensures that the paint used on his runways meets with federal – and provincial – approval. “I can’t be using paints that aren’t in accordance with TP312 standards or that aren’t approved in Alberta,” he says. Although Beazer admits that water-borne, acrylic paints are slowly making inroads on

Advances in some paint formulas have been designed to produce faster drying times.

the runways, he still chooses to use lowVOC alkyd paints for longevity. “I find that the alkyd paints last longer and are better quality,” he says, noting that Alberta winters can take its toll. “Some airports redo their paint markings every year, but the majority do it every two years.”

gas industry, along with the occasional coal mine. It’s also a base for Alberta Medivac, and has air tankers for the forestry sector. “It takes about three or four days for us to get our runway repainted,” notes Shine, who adds that the airport does remain open during this time.

On the ground

Time for quality

The Edson Airport is one of those airports that opt to redo their runway markings every other year.

Advances in some paint formulas have been designed to produce faster drying times, according to Brian Lawton, regional business director, Hi-Lite Airfield Services.

“We factor the cost into our annual operating budget,” explains Sam Shine, transportation service manager. “It’s an extremely important part of the operation. It’s heavily regulated. You have to ensure that whoever paints your runway is in accordance with the correct standard.” Edson uses contractors that specialize in this sector to avoid expensive repair costs. “There are a lot of companies that do municipal and provincial road painting,” continues Shine. “When it comes to airports, the number of contractors shrinks considerably.” The Edson Airport has around 2,000 take offs and landings per year. It is situated approximately 200 kilometres from Edmonton and services mainly the oil and

The company, which services Canada and the United States (and other countries), focuses 100 per cent on airfield services, including painting runway markings. “We’re applying predominantly water-borne paints in the U.S.,” says Lawton, who adds that they are also seeing MMA and preformed thermoplastic being used for some airfield markings. As to how often airports need to repaint their runway markings, Lawton suggests that a lot of it depends on where the airport is located, how much traffic it sees, and the weather conditions themselves. “First and foremost, it depends on whether or not the paint was put down well to begin with,” he states.

Alberta Airports Management Association • 2019


index to advertisers Adb Safegate.........................................................................IFC

Ja Larue Inc.............................................................................. 17

ASAP Geomatix.........................................................................3

Klon Services Ltd......................................................................4

City of Wetaskiwin...................................................................7

Lloydminster Airport..............................................................5

Dawson Creek Regional Airport / City of Dawson Creek...................................................... 11

Marshall Lines......................................................................... 13

Global Airport Training Services.......................... 17 & IBC

Town of Bonnyville..................................................................5

High River Airport................................................................. 19

Town of Edson...........................................................................6

Operations Economics Inc................................................. 19

iFIDS....................................................................................... OBC

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Alberta Airports Management Association • 2019

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The Airport Operators  

The Airport Operator magazine is the official publication of the Alberta Airport Managers' Association (AAMA). The 2019 issue features stori...

The Airport Operators  

The Airport Operator magazine is the official publication of the Alberta Airport Managers' Association (AAMA). The 2019 issue features stori...