19 April 2011

Election 2011

City Center Airport Torontocytz

I sent the message immediately below to the candidates in my riding, Ottawa – Orleans, namely Royal Galipeau (Conservative), David Bertschi (Liberal), Martine Cenatus (NDP) and Paul Maillet (Green).

Dear Candidates

I am writing to you to get your opinions on various issues related to personal aviation.

First, I am a private pilot and owner of a light aircraft. I use it for personal travel. Although it is currently not flying, when it is, it is based at Rockcliffe airport here in Ottawa.

As a pilot I would like to confirm your disagreement with the proposed Kettle Island interprovincial bridge which may potentially make Rockcliffe Airport unusable, not to mention clearly putting truck traffic through the backyards of many families in Ottawa. I live in Orleans and support a new interprovincial bridge being built at Lower Duck Island. This location will remove truck traffic from downtown Ottawa and its residential neighbourhoods. Will you support this option and ensure the continued life of Rockcliffe Airport?

As well Canada lacks a clear policy on airports primarily used by personal aircraft, namely Local and Regional airports. This has lead to the announced closure of Edmonton City Centre airport and Buttonville Airport in Markham, On. Both relieve nearby international airports by attracting corporate and personal aircraft that would otherwise consume valuable capacity built to accommodate scheduled airlines at the international airports. Canadian cities tend to be poorly served by reliever airports when compared to other similar cities in North America and the World. This is largely because of a policy vacuum at the federal government level. Currently all levels of government neglect their airport infrastructure primarily in response to the early 1990s National Airports Policy, which was aimed at removing airports from the federal budget process.

Will you support development of a comprehensive airport policy, dealing with both large and small airports, by the Minister of Transport in consultation with stakeholders and the other jurisdictions?

Also, will you commit to supporting a review of Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELTs) regulations that currently require aircraft owners to install devices that have proven to fail in most accidents and hence save few lives? Better technology is available and government should consider alternatives to the current regulations. Will you support reviewing the Canadian Air Regulations as they apply to ELTs?



Michael Shaw

Captain: Flight 8 - Ottawa - Canadian Owners and Pilots Association

VP, Short Wings Over Canada Chapter (formerly Seaway Chapter) Short Wing Piper Club







Orleans, ON



So far, at 11:40 19 April 2011, only two candidates have replied to my message, the Greens (twice) and the Conservative.

Here are the responses in the order they were received:



Mr. Shaw,

Thank you for your message regarding a new proposed interprovincial bridge.

It is important to understand that this project has been in the making for over fifty years. I have been very clear that I support the conclusions of the Greber Report which acknowledges the need for an interprovincial bridge at Kettle Island. This is the most logical place for a bridge in the NCR.

That said, my primary concern regarding a bridge is that it not intrude on our Greenbelt. The Greenbelt is a treasure in our community and some proposals for a bridge intrude on it. These proposals should not even be considered.

I trust that this information will be satisfactory to you. Thank you for your time.

Sincerely yours,


Royal Galipeau’, the incumbent, seems unwilling to consider other bridge locations, or even mention airport policies, or ELTs. This makes him appear to have a closed mind! Mike


GREEN PARTY: (3 messages)

18:40 18 April

(to Mr. Shaw)

We are for a fair solution that does not create any more fatalities on King Edward by thousands of truck going through the center of the city. This will require cooperation from all communities, but we must put lives first.

That is our position.



Paul Maillet


Green Party of Canada Ottawa Orleans

Tel: 613.841.9216 Cell: 613.866.2503

Web: http://paulmailletgreenpartyorleans.wordpress.com

Twitter @PaulMaillet



14:35 18 April 2011

To me from Rob Schmidt

I saw a response from Paul Maillet about the Kettle Island option and wanted to quickly clarify our position in Ottawa Vanier.

We are against the Kettle Island Bridge option. We believe there are alternatives that mean no new bridge will be built, but if there needs to be a bridge we agree with Mauril's preference: the Canotek Road idea that would preserve the Green Belt and reduce impact on residential communities significantly.

Rob Schmidt

Campaign Manager for Caroline Rioux

Green Party Ottawa Vanier

Sent from my iPad


12:38 16 April

Dear Mr. Shaw

As a retired Air Force Colonel with 33 years service. I do understand the challenges of aviation in terms of rising costs, airspace management, flight safety, airport availability, and the regulatory framework.

The issue of the interprovincial bridge is primarily an issue of the Vanier riding, however, I firmly believe in the urban planning imperative that communities have a strong and significant voice in development decisions that most affect them. That voice I will support. The bridge decision is important in that the congestion and fatality incidence on King Edward is clearly unacceptable. The kettle island decision impacts residents of Manor Park, your airport and the Montfort Hospital. The road network to receive the bridge in Gatineau also deserves consideration. The economics and truck traffic patterns have their arguments. The challenge is to balance competing interests so that all are satisfied to the maximum extent possible. You are one of the stakeholders involved that deserve consideration. That I completely agree with and now we need to be able to make it heard.

Regarding comprehensive airport policy I do agree that a reasonable balance between large and small airports is essential for a country of this size and for the sustainability of large, small and recreational operators. We have the same problem in agriculture between family and corporate farming. Everyone deserves a fair share of the capacity, financial support and resources available. A policy is overdue.

Being a former aerospace engineering officer, the issue of flight safety is always a real concern. I am not aware of ELT failure incidence data, but would always be in favour of better solutions and advances in technology. I agree that air regulations need to keep up to date with advances and more cost effective alternatives. I would support CAR reviews periodically in this respect, and for other improvement opportunities available.

I do hope I am given the opportunity to represent aviation issues in the next parliament.



Paul Maillet

Colonel retired

Candidate - Green Party of Canada Ottawa Orleans

Tel: 613.841.9216 Cell: 613.866.2503

Web: http://paulmailletgreenpartyorleans.wordpress.com

Twitter @PaulMaillet


The Green Party seems to have an open mind and potentially an understanding of the issues. Mike



Their silence is deafening? Current National Airports Policy was developed under the liberals. Minister of Transport was Doug Young.  Mike



Are they afraid to engage a citizen? Mike

07 April 2011

Some Aviation Good News

The aviation news all seems to be bad these days. For instance Narco is in liquidation, there was a tornado that wrecked 40 aircraft at Sun 'n Fun, Diamond Aircraft is not doing well and then there is the price of avgas hovering at $1.50 per litre here in Ottawa and definitely looking to be on the way up.

But there are some good news story in aviation this week. First off the Chinese government buy-out of Cirrus is proceeding and that is a good thing because the company was heading towards bankruptcy and no one in North America seemed interested in buying it. A Chinese-owned Cirrus is better than no Cirrus at all.

At Sun 'n Fun 2011 Cessna launched its new update to the Cessna 400 (Formerly the Columbia 400 and Lancair Certified LC41-550FG before that) which includes a whole new avionics package including IR touchscreens, an updated interior and even snazzy new paint. The TTX model is now the only one in the stable and the older Cessna 350 has been discontinued. The really good news is that the TTX got lots of attention at SNF and picked up 16 orders. That may not sound like many, but Cessna only sold seven of them in all of 2010, so that is a good sign. Cessna also sold 13 high-wing piston singles and one Cessna 208 Caravan and SNF, so they had a good trip there from Wichita.

Also at SNF LoPresti Speed Merchants introduced seven new speed mods and business was brisk for them. Evektor sold seven SportStar light sport aircraft and the WACO Classic sold six brand new Great Lakes biplanes. It seems that at least some people are buying in the aviation world here in 2011.

As far as Ottawa goes the last of the snow has just melted and the next week or two promise temperatures close to 20C or so. It sounds like spring is here and the skies beckon to do some flying.

Some uplifting reading:

* Sun 'n Fun 2011: Green Shoots by Paul Bertorelli
* Cessna Sells 30 Airplanes At Sun 'n Fun By Russ Niles

03 April 2011

Aviation's "elephant in the room"

This week at Sun 'n Fun they had an aircraft-destroying F1 tornado touch down, but the 40-odd planes that were damaged will be repaired or replaced. At least no one was seriously hurt! But other far more damaging things are happening in aviation, ones that are much more long-term than a simple act of nature.

Pete Bunce, the head of the General Aviation Manufacturer's Association (GAMA) brought up the topic that no one wants to talk about, as part of a Sun 'n Fun general aviation "Town Meeting" panel discussion. It is what he called aviation's "elephant in the room", poor salaries for professional pilots that are killing student starts and causing real world safety problems. They were cited as a cause in the Colgan Air crash in Buffalo, for one.

Bunce said, "Nobody wants to talk about that." Flight training is expensive, yet pilots are launching a career with salaries that won't pay their expenses, never mind their student loans, and "there is something fundamentally wrong with that equation."

Bunce is right, young pilots working for air carriers are finding that the six figure salaries they dreamed of no longer exist and that they will be living with their parents for the foreseeable future, unable to make enough to eat. The problem is the same all over North America and indeed most of the globe. Student starts are down as most young people heard what Chesley Sullenberger, the very senior pilot who safely ditched US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River on 15 January 2009, saving the lives of all 155 people on the aircraft said, when he testified before the US House of Representatives's Subcommittee on Aviation of the Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure on 24 February 2009. He told them that his salary had been cut by 40 percent and that his pension, like most airline pensions, had been terminated and replaced by a "PBGC" guarantee worth almost nothing. He also told them that an airline career was no longer worth pursuing and he recommended young people choose something else to do with their lives. He saw the very low pay, not just for new hires, but for all professional pilots, regardless of seniority, as a serious safety problem.

A lot of people have been hanging a solution to this problem for years on the "upcoming shortage of airline pilots" that the flying schools have been pitching to prospective students since the 1970s. I heard it when I learned to fly in the mid-1970s and it hasn't happened yet. Here in 2011, as in 2008, fuel prices are rising quickly again, airlines are cutting schedules and looking at more pilot lay-offs this year and so that old flying school recruiting saw, an "upcoming pilot shortage", isn't likely to happen in the near future either.

Bunce didn't offer any solutions in the panel discussion, but he thought it needed to be discussed.

In theory, in a free labour market, the problem will sort itself out over time, all on its own. Young people are already avoiding flight training and this will, even in a shrinking airline world, eventually result in a pilot shortage and subsequent raising of wages to above starvation levels, or at least to the point where new pilots may have a chance to pay off their student loans and move out of their mom's basement.

Personally I don't see any other way to solve this problem than market forces, but until it does that cadre of young people coming in the door to aviation and getting involved in general aviation as a hobby or as a stepping stone to that hoped-for airline career won't be there.