Innovations in technology may be the solution to the West Kootenay Regional Airport’s winter landing issue. (Betsy Kline/Rossland News)

City of Castlegar hires former CAO as airport consultant

John Malcolm has been hired on a six-month contract to act on the city’s behalf on airport matters.

CASTLEGAR — As part of an effort to find solutions for cancelled flights at the West Kootenay Regional Airport (YCG), newly retired Castlegar CAO John Malcolm has been hired on a six-month contract to act on the city’s behalf as an airport consultant.

He is moving forward on the process started during his CAO tenure of further refining the Jeppesen Required Navigational Performance (RNP) analysis, coordinating with Nav Canada and Transport Canada for design approval and meeting with Air Canada, WestJet or other airlines for commitment to use the RNP approach when approved.

Aeronautical navigation system company Jeppesen Aviation produced an analysis and report for the City of Castlegar last year identifying the incorporation of RNP procedures by airlines flying into Castlegar as the solution to increasing landing rates.

READ MORE: West Kootenay Regional Airport study gives hope of improving reliability

The problem is the terrain. Having an airport in a tight valley between mountains brings limitations. That is why the Jeppesen plan doesn’t call for any physical changes to the airport runways, but rather adding a computerized approach program to the aircraft that allows for curved approaches rather than the straight-line approaches used now.

Malcolm has long been a proponent of the need for a regional airport to support the economic growth of the entire area.

“The benefits extend into the region — if the region did not have a secure, national airline connector, it would suffer even more than the current issues now put in its way,” said Malcolm in an interview last fall.

“It seems inevitable to me that the advances in technology will provide a real solution to the airport’s winter reliability issues.”

READ MORE: Castlegar CAO predicts airport navigation breakthrough

Malcolm’s goals will be to get an airline partner to support Castlegar’s RNP bid and get Nav Canada to proceed with development of the approach. The airline partner would then test the approach in a simulator to determine if there are any issues to address.

Once simulator testing is complete the next step would be to seek Transport Canada certification for the approach.

YCG sees between 70,000 and 80,000 passengers a year.

According to City of Castlegar airport data, 2016 successful landing rates were 99 per cent for the summer and fall, 95 per cent for the spring and 64 per cent for the winter.

Malcolm will be paid on an hourly basis at a rate of $130 for field work and office work. His travel expenses will be covered and a travel policy states business class can be used for flights over three hours, hotel accommodation is at Fairmont Hotels at the commercial rate or equivalent, taxis and car rentals are covered where necessary, meals are covered as per the city’s usual meal policy and entertainment expenses for clients are reimbursed on a receipted claim basis.

Malcolm Consulting Contract by John White on Scribd

Just Posted

What’s Up: Things to see and do on Family Day

There’s plenty of fun to be had across the West Kootenay this coming long weekend!

Province announces $23 million for upgrades at Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital

West Kootenay-Boundary Regional Hospital District Board has yet to review the provincial proposal

Call a foul on cancer with the Pink Whistle Campaign

Local basketball referees are raising money for cancer research

UPDATE: Two-car accident closes Highway 3A at Thrums

Road expected to open for single-lane alternating traffic at 2 p.m.

Trail Curling Club set for BC senior championships

Volunteers step up for BC Senior Curling championships at Trail Curling Club

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

B.C. government provides $75,000 towards salmon study

Study looks at abundance and health of Pacific salmon in Gulf of Alaska

Murdered and missing honoured at Stolen Sisters Memorial March in B.C.

‘We come together to make change within the systems in our society’

UBC researchers develop inexpensive tool to test drinking water

The tricoder can test for biological contamination in real-time

Disgraced ex-Congressman Anthony Weiner released from prison

He was convicted of having illicit online contact with a 15-year-old North Carolina girl in 2017

B.C. communities push back against climate change damages campaign

Activists copying California case that was tossed out of court

B.C. VIEWS: Power politics wins over rational energy policy

B.C Hydro continues to face interference on rates

Most Read