I am responding to your request for comments on the Our View column in the Wednesday, March 22 PNR.
I was particularly struck by the fifth and sixth paragraphs of the article.
I certainly agree there is always a risk around airports, but disagree to a large degree with the the conclusion that “Certainly its a risk the airport itself, pilots, airlines, regulators and emergency services work hard to mitigate.”
No argument with emergency services, but I am not convinced that the first four are making enough effort to reduce risk.
For example, there is what to me appears to be a common practice at our airfield for pilots to take off and carve a route from here to the Vancouver airport by unnecessarily flying over the built up areas of Sidney, instead of doing a straight-out leg and making their turns over the water thereby minimizing risk.
The same can be said about landings where, instead of doing a cross-wind leg and turning over the water for final approach, again an arc is made over Sidney.
It is well proven that the two most dangerous times for aircraft accidents are on take-off and landing. These common practices, even by commercial airlines and pilots is apparently condoned by the airport itself and the regulators.
And this says nothing about the noise caused by flying over built-up areas.
If the powers-that-be were actually “working hard” to mitigate the risk of accidents, and adhering to what you call “good practices,” this type of unprofessional flying behaviour would not be tolerated.
I would like to see the airport itself, pilots, airlines, and regulators show that they care about the safety and comfort of the Town and its people, by practicing safe and considerate flying.
John Bardsley, Sidney