Federal money allows upgrade to runway reporting technology

NANAIMO – ACAP-funded runway condition reporting system improves safety, efficiency

Nanaimo Airport operations manager Reg Brady demonstrates how the new runway condition reporting system works Friday at Nanaimo Airport. The $30

Nanaimo Airport can now report runway conditions to NAV Canada considerably faster than before with the installation of a new device funded by the federal government.

A $30,000 electronic runway condition reporting system, paid for through the federal Airports Capital Assistance Program and installed at the end of March, will provide timely, accurate and precise wireless reporting and recording of runway conditions.

“Before, there was a lot of paperwork work to be filled out by hand, and the information would have to be faxed in,” said Reg Brady, operations manager at Nanaimo Airport. “It would take 15 to 20 minutes each time. Now it takes eight seconds from the time we take the measurement. It frees up a considerable amount of time for us, and provides better feedback to the dispatchers making the decisions for pilots.”

The device is an onboard computer in a pick-up truck that feeds information remotely to an office computer which relays it to NAV Canada.

When runway conditions call for it – usually when there is significant precipitation in the form of rain, frost, ice or snow – the truck is deployed to measure friction on the runway by decelerating rapidly every 300 metres.

About 12 deceleration tests are done along the length of the runway. If results warrant it, a chemical is used to dry the runway, or snowplows are deployed.

The information is relayed to NAV Canada dispatchers who advise incoming pilots if it is safe to land.

“This equipment will allow pilots to receive runway condition information much sooner during rain and winter conditions which will enhance safety for travellers,” said Mike Hooper, Nanaimo Airport Commission president and CEO.

On June 24, WestJet will begin non-stop daily service between Nanaimo and Calgary using its Encore fleet of Bombardier Q400 NextGen aircraft, and Air Canada will continue its service to Vancouver using its de Havilland Dash 8s.

“The landing requirements for jets and turboprops is different,” said Brady. “For both services, this new feature will improve safety and efficiency.”

Nanaimo-Alberni Conservative MP James Lunney made the official funding announcement Friday at Nanaimo Airport on behalf of Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities Denis Lebel.

“People will be able to fly into Nanaimo with a greater confidence,” said Lunney. “The airport is an economic driver in our community, it’s an important economic hub and it is becoming increasingly busier.”

Just Posted

On Remembrance Day, community pledges never to forget

Images from Remembrance Day ceremonies in Lantzville on Monday, Nov. 11

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: B.C. missing out on ship-building industry

B.C. now losing out on the economic benefit of building ferries, says letter writer

Highland dancer wins North American junior title

Annalise Lam leads Brigadoon Dance Academy contingent in U.S. competition

VIU graphic design students propose less wasteful packaging in new exhibition

‘Unwrapped’ show is on display at the school’s View Gallery until Dec. 1

Cadets begin 24-hour honour guard at Nanaimo cenotaph

Remembrance Day ceremony to be held Nov. 11 at 11 a.m. at Dallas Square

Barsby shut down in football playoffs

AA varsity team eliminated, AA junior varsity team still in contention

Sportsnet fires Don Cherry after negative comments about immigrants

Don Cherry had said immigrants don’t wear poppies like other Canadians do

Dozens of planes went down on Vancouver Island training for war

Exhibit at Vancouver Island Military Museum depicts dangers of flying B.C. coast during war years

Man seriously injured after shock and fall from electrical tower in Nanaimo

20-year-old was being transported to hospital in Victoria

Trudeau’s new cabinet: Gender parity because it’s 2019? Or due to competence?

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will soon appoint his new cabinet

Canada among three G20 countries least likely to hit emissions targets

It says Canada, South Korea and Australia are the farthest off

Conservatives’ Scheer wants Trudeau to open Parliament Nov. 25

That’s five days after Justin Trudeau is scheduled to swear in a new cabinet

Last remaining Centurion tank from the Korean War makes its journey ‘home’ to B.C.

Tank arrives in B.C. the day before Remembrance Day after a more than 4,500-kilometre transfer

‘Your vehicle burns a lot of fuel:’ Victoria drivers wake up to angry notes

‘This handbill was left on your vehicle because your vehicle burns a lot of fuel,’ notes read

Most Read