01 September 2007

NOTAMS affecting Rockcliffe Airport...

I find it strange that NOTAM 070191 for this weekend closes Rockcliffe Airport's runway but does not mention any reasons. From other sources I understand that the reason is the Skyhawks Parachute jump team will be jumping at the Balloon Festival about 2 NM west of Rockcliffe. So why close the runway?

Equally strange, Montreal FIR NOTAMS (i.e.,070738) advise pilots of the balloon festival 2NM west from Rockcliffe but it does not mention parachute jumpers.

NOTAM 070193 for Gatineau Airport advises that there will be parajumps a the Casino.

Finally, NOTAM 070192 advises pilots of fireworks approximately 2NM WNW of Rockcliffe tomorrow. Is this associated with th Balloon Festival or is there another event slightly North of the Balloon thing?

I guess pilots are expected to be able to associate the Rockcliffe's runway closures, Balloon Festivals, Casino parajumps and fireworks.

Furthermore, why prevent aircraft from landing and taking off at Rockcliffe, but not prevent them from flying in the airspace above the runway? What is happening on the runway? Clearly most parachute operations do not require closing runways. Most of the time all that is required is notifying pilots of the time and location of parachute activities.

Can't the powers that be coordinate these NOTAMS to make it clear what is actually happening and where?

Michael Shaw
Capitan COPA Flight 8


Anonymous said...


I couldn't agree more. This airport has run these sort of NOTAMs in the past and they are ineffective and confusing. If they don't want aircraft in the airspace then the airspace has to be NOTAMed closed, not the runway!

I think part of the problem here may be jurisdiction: The airport manager is responsible for the runway, but not the airspace, that belongs to Nav Canada. They have to be the ones to NOTAM it closed.

There needs to be better coordination between Nav Canada and the airport managers.

The obvious other issue here is that Nav Canada is not reading and analyzing the NOTAMs that are sent to them for publication. They are clearly responsible for the content of them, but they have been just sending out whatever the airport managers send in, without the required critical analysis.

In the case of this NOTAM the folks at Nav Canada should have called CYRO when they got this one and asked: "What are you trying to accomplish here?" The process truly needs some critical thinking on a daily basis.

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