Transport Canada has published Notice of Proposed Amendment (NPA) #2013-014
titled "Responsible Aerodrome Development". This publication is advance
notice of an amended law that will come into effect after a public review
and comment period.
NPA 2013-014 is intended to address environmental, noise and building code
jurisdiction issues related to building and expanding aerodromes and
airports. At first this does not seem to affect hang gliding and
paragliding, but this amendment could have an unintended side-effect
affecting our ability to build and maintain launches and landing zones. In
particular the NPA mandates a public consultation which Transport Canada
estimates would cost between $6,000 and $15,000 - a prohibitive amount for
even a large club.
Under the Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs) any area used for takeoff and landing or movement of aircraft is an aerodrome. HG/PG are defined as aircraft in the CARs, so our launches and LZ's fall under the definition of an aerodrome.
While we do not expect Transport Canada to start enforcing this new rule with regard to our launches and LZ's, it could be used by an unfriendly neighbour or other opponent of free flight to object to a new launch or LZ or even maintenance or expansion of an existing location. With the NPA passed as-is Transport Canada would have no choice but to enforce the law as written.
Rather than wait and fight any complaints later, it is in our best interest to object to this rule and demand amendments before it's passed.
We ask all HPAC members to submit comments objecting to the NPA. The deadline for comments is April 8, our objective is to generate as many responses as possible. Any citizen can comment, so please ask your friends, family and acquaintances to send in comments as well.
To make this simple, HPAC has prepared the attached sample letters, in English and French. Simply edit the sample letter as you see fit, fill in your name and address at the bottom, and email the letter to:
Subject: NPA 2013-014
The HPAC Board thanks you for your help and thanks André Nadeau, our Transport Canada liaison, for bringing this issue to our attention.
HPAC Director, Ontario
On behalf of the Board of Directors, HPAC/ACVL