The majority of the changes at the Nanaimo Airport over the last eight years have greatly improved reliability. “We understand these enhancements have allowed our area residents to gain trust in the airport,” says Mike Hooper, President and CEO of the Nanaimo Airport. “We continually work hard to maintain our reliability.”
In early May, Transport Canada conducted a review of the clearance slope for the tree tops on the runway which uses the Instrument Landing System (ILS). That review concluded the clearance slope needed to change from 3% which the system was originally based on, to a new lower slope of 2.5%.
“Although we have been doing annual vegetation management to maintain the approved slope, this change means we are now expanding our efforts to several neighboring properties and the work will include topping additional trees,” explains Hooper.
The Airport team expects to have the tree work completed and to have the ILS fully functioning again in the next couple of weeks. While this important work is being conducted, it is not expected to impact the flights. There were several flights at the beginning of the project that were negatively impacted by weather, however historical weather patterns at this time of year tend to be fog free.
The Nanaimo Airport is planning to use helicopters to top trees in some areas which will speed up the process and assist to complete this work in a timely manner. After the vegetation management work is fished, three trees will planted for each one topped in the riparian areas. This will allow a transition from Poplar trees that grow over 3m per year to slower growing plants such as cedar trees.
“We would like to thank our neighbours for helping us meet this new slope requirement. The positive response we have received while working on 23 separate properties has been excellent. We are planning to host a neighbourhood appreciation event when the project is completed,” shares Hooper.