The City of Shawinigan and Transport Canada agree on the management of the Lac-à-la-Tortue water aerodrome



    SHAWINIGAN, QC, June 15 /CNW Telbec/ - At the conclusion of the public
consultation and public interest determination processes, the City of
Shawinigan decided in favour of the Transport Canada proposal to operate the
Lac-à-la-Tortue certified water aerodrome itself.
    This approach follows the Transport Canada National Airports Policy which
aims to hand back over to local authorities the management of local and
regional airports. Local airport management has proven itself worthwhile: it
is the optimal solution to well understand the local issues and take the
appropriate measures to meet regional requirements and characteristics. This
approach will thus allow the City of Shawinigan to exercise strict control
over flight operations and soundscape management.
    Once the water aerodrome has been certified by Transport Canada, the City
of Shawinigan will have the regulatory tools, including a site-specific
operations manual, to properly manage the level of noise pollution in the
Lac-à-la-Tortue area. In addition, a local noise advisory committee, chaired
by the City and composed of various stakeholders, will be created. Through
this committee, the City, with the assistance of Transport Canada, will set
restrictions and procedures to reduce noise specific to the area, subject to
fines under the Canadian Aviation Regulations.
    For the moment, the restrictions issuing from the public consultation
process with regard to days and hours of operation, as well as operating
procedures, will be published by Transport Canada. At a later date, if
necessary, the local noise advisory committee will recommend that Transport
Canada relax or tighten the restrictions in effect, depending on how the
situation develops.
    Transport Canada and the City of Shawinigan will continue to work
together to certify the water aerodrome and implement appropriate and
effective regulatory tools.
    Attached is a more detailed background document on the certification of
the Lac-à-la-Tortue water aerodrome and regulatory restrictions.

    
                                 Backgrounder
                                 ------------
                                 ------------

    CERTIFICATION OF THE WATER AERODROME AT LAC-A-LA-TORTUE AND REGULATORY
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    RESTRICTIONS
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    Local airport management has proven itself worthwhile: it is the optimal
solution to well understand the local issues. Transport Canada believes that
this approach will allow the City of Shawinigan to have better control over
flight operations and soundscape management.
    For the water aerodrome at Lac-à-la-Tortue to be certified, a
site-specific operations manual will be developed and a noise advisory
committee will be created to propose restrictions and procedures to reduce
noise, subject to fines under the Canadian Aviation Regulations. These
regulatory tools will provide the City of Shawinigan with all it needs to
manage the certified water aerodrome at Lac-à-la-Tortue.

    Operations manual

    The operations manual is a document approved under the Canadian Aviation
Regulations featuring all the information on a particular aerodrome and the
operations carried out there, including the site operator, the geographical
coordinates and a description of the location, emergency procedures in case of
an incident or accident, marker maintenance procedures, a description of any
obstacles and their site, facilities and services provided and operating
restrictions in effect.
    The manual will ensure that flight operations run smoothly at the
Lac-à-la-Tortue certified water aerodrome, and that these operations are
carried out in accordance with regulations and restrictions in effect at the
site.

    Local noise advisory committee

    Through the local noise advisory committee, the City will be able to
propose specific procedures for reducing noise, as well as regulatory
restrictions and operating procedures. The noise issue will be managed
locally, while still enabling air carriers to continue with their activities.
    These restrictions will be published in accordance with the Canadian
Aviation Regulations. As a result, if violations occur, Transport Canada can
take enforcement action in the event of reported violations, and, if
necessary, impose sanctions against offenders.

    Regulatory restrictions

    The information submitted and analyzed as part of the public interest
determination process showed that regulatory restrictions were essential.
    The following restrictions will be published by Transport Canada in June
2009 in accordance with section 602.105 of the Canadian Aviation Regulations:

    - Commercial sightseeing flights will be authorized only from 9:00 a.m.
      to 12:00 p.m. and from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. (local time).
    - No commercial sightseeing flights will operate on Saturdays, Sundays or
      holidays in June, July or August.

    Depending on how the situation develops, the committee will have the
option of recommending that Transport Canada amend, relax or tighten
restrictions.
    




For further information:

For further information: Chris Day, Press Secretary, Office of the
Minister of Transport, John Baird, Ottawa, (613) 991-0700; Kim Hogan,
Transport Canada, Dorval, (514) 633-2741; Transport Canada is online at
www.tc.gc.ca. Subscribe to news releases and speeches at
www.tc.gc.ca/nouvellesendirect and keep up to date on the latest from
Transport Canada; This news release may be made available in alternative
formats for persons with visual disabilities.


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