A low-flying plane over Sidney on Wednesday, July 25 was cause for some concerned calls to Victoria International Airport and to the Peninsula News Review.
The blue and white plane could be seen flying slow, wide circles above the airport in the early afternoon. It was conducting a routine inspection of the airport’s instrument landing system.
“We get a lot of calls from people every year wondering what [the plane] is doing,” said Terry Stewart, director of marketing and community relations at the airport. “The calibration tests are completely controlled by Nav Canada and happen on a regular basis.”
Nav Canada, a private company, performs flight inspections to verify and calibrate ground-based navigational aids as well as to check the accuracy of newly designed approaches and isolate the causes of frequency interference or system outages, said Jonathan Bagg, manager of public affairs at Nav Canada.
During the inspections, new approaches, departures and arrivals are also flown to ensure correct design and terrain clearance.
Nav Canada currently uses three aircraft to fly the tests: one Dash turboprop and two Canadair Regional Jets (CRJs). The latter was used at Victoria airport last week.