Low-flying aircraft posing problem for Cordova Bay

Residents say Vancouver and Victoria harbour-bound aircraft have been flying too close over their homes

Saanich is looking into an ongoing report of low-flying aircraft that have been particularly bothersome for the residents of Worthington Road in Cordova Bay.

Since 2012, Dorothy Pearson of Walema Avenue has gathered a petition of 53 residents from the immediate area who say Vancouver and Victoria harbour-bound aircraft have been flying too close over their homes, roads and properties.

“Our houses actually shake, especially with [helicopters], it’s very loud,” Pearson said. “It interrupts your speech, and there’s so many during the rush hour times, you can’t have a barbecue in the summer, it affects your quality of life.”

Pearson said about 30 to 40 aircraft come through on a busy day right now and as many as 100 would come through during busy summer days over the past three years. She’s lived there since 2001 and recalls hardly any aircraft to speak of prior to September 2012.

Jonathan Bagg, manager of public affairs for Nav Canada, said the regulation of routes is a broad one, and wasn’t able to speak specifically to the Worthington area directly.

“It’s a busy region, [this] part of B.C. has a lot of airports, a lot of flights, and it’s normal to have aircraft over different areas. Aircraft can fly on different routes.”

However, Bagg did say there’s been no changes to the area since 2007. Both Bagg and Transport Canada said they’ll look further into the flight paths of the area.

Pearson and a trio of neighbours brought the issue to council as a delegation on Nov. 16 and were met with a positive response. Council recognized the issue as similar to one in 2006, in which the Healthy Saanich advisory committee helped a group of citizens from Saanich, Central Saanich and North Saanich to redirect “low flying” float planes and helicopters away from densely populated ares of Saanich and Victoria.

Council passed a motion (forwarded by Coun. Judy Brownoff) to follow the same steps it did in 2006.

In that case, decibel levels reached 65 to 80 but in this case Pearson says it doesn’t matter. There are designated flight paths to follow. The Victoria bound map shows a southbound flight path along the Pat Bay Highway which Pearson says is often deviated from. And she says no one will share the northbound routes from Victoria to Vancouver with her.

“I would like to find out who’s behind it, that there’s no one to answer, why can’t they fly on their routes. It’s almost like they don’t want to fly over Elk Lake.”

One of the problems is that the homes are in a virtual no man’s land between the air spaces governed by both the Victoria Airport and the Victoria Harbour Aerodrome.

Because the air traffic is harbour-to-harbour, Pearson and the company looked for answers from the Victoria Harbour Aerodrome, learning it exists in virtual ‘theory’ only, said another Worthington homeowner, David Gerrior.

“As far as we can tell, a Victoria Harbour Authority doesn’t exist,” Gerrior told council,

Pearson did however manage to contact and work with MLA Lana Popham, MP Elizabeth May, Nav Can, Transport Canada, Helijet, Harbour Air and more.

But after three years, she’s left wondering if there’s some sort of conspiracy behind it all.

“I was told we’d have a meeting by several people only to have them cancelled or put off with no word of a rescheduling. Do you know how hard it is to get 30 neighbours to commit to a meeting?” Pearson said.

“I talked to Victoria tower control but the more people I talk to it doesn’t matter. It’s actually a very, very complicated issue.”

reporter@saanichnews.com

 

 

 

Just Posted

Proposed design for the Topaz Park bike and skate park elements. (Courtesy City of Victoria)
Victoria requesting feedback on Topaz Park redesign

Public input now being taken for proposed skate, bike park ideas

Improving safety at Keating Cross Road and the Pat Bay Highway is the goal of the flyover project currently in the works. The province aims to reveal the final cost and design this fall. (Screencap/Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure)
Final budget, design of Keating flyover in Central Saanich still in the works

Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure says information coming by this fall

Colin Davidson won $100K on a Set for Life scratch ticket in Sooke. (BCLC photo)
Sooke man does ‘happy dance’ after scratching a $100,000 Set for Life win

Colin Davidson plans to renovate his home and invest in his daughter’s education

West Shore RCMP K9 Halla. (Black Press Media file photo)
Sound of RCMP dog enough to stop suspects in Oak Bay

West Shore RCMP K9 unit called in, didn’t get to chase

Saanich Neighbourhood Place is hoping to open the doors to its new centre in July, pending final council approval. (Black Press Media file photo)
Saanich childcare agency awaits final approval on much-needed new facility

Saanich Neighbourhood Place keen to open new centre this summer, expand options for community

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

There is an emergency shelter near the Golden Ears peaks. (Facebook/Special to The News)
Hiker fogged in on Golden Ears, spends 2 nights

Talon Helicopters, Ridge Meadows Search and Rescue bring him home Monday

Annamie Paul, leader of the Green Party of Canada, speaks at a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, on June 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Green Leader Annamie Paul facing no-confidence motion from party brass

move follows months of internal strife and the defection of MP Jenica Atwin to the Liberals

Tulips bloom in front of the Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa, Thursday, May 10, 2018. Day two of a full week of scheduled hearings will be heard in Federal Court today on a case involving Indigenous children unnecessarily taken into foster care by what all parties call Canada’s “broken child welfare system.” THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
AFN slams Ottawa for ‘heartless’ legal challenge of First Nations child compensation

2019 decision awarded $40,000 to each Indigenous child removed before 2006

Rick Ruppenthal of Saltair will host a 12-hour talk-a-thon Friday, June 18 over Facebook live. (Photo submitted)
Talk-a-thon to focus on men’s mental health issues

Island man spearheading a campaign to generate more conversation during fundraiser

Ivy was thrown out of a moving vehicle in Kelowna. Her tail was severely injured and will be amputated. (BC SPCA)
Kitten thrown from moving vehicle, needs help: Kelowna SPCA

The seven-week-old kitten had severe tail and femur injuries

The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre estimates that less than five per cent of mass-marketing fraud is ever reported.
Tips to avoid scams targeting Vancouver Island seniors

In most cases, fraudsters impersonate an individual, business or agency seniors recognize and trust

Vancouver courthouse. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Man loses bid to appeal conviction for 1999 rape at Abbotsford music festival

James Redden, 53, formerly of Nanaimo, was found guilty in 2019 following six-day trial

A health-care worker holds up a sign signalling she needs more COVID-19 vaccines at the ‘hockey hub’ mass vaccination facility at the CAA Centre during the COVID-19 pandemic in Brampton, Ont., on Friday, June 4, 2021. This NHL-sized hockey rink is one of CanadaÕs largest vaccination centres. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
‘Vaxxed to the max’: Feds launch Ask an Expert campaign to encourage COVID shots

Survey shows that confidence in vaccines has risen this spring

Most Read