Airport dialogue raises concerns

Resident raises concerns about issues raised in the report of the Trail Airport.

On several occasions I have flown Air Canada direct flights from Vancouver or Calgary to Toronto.  So have many others.  Those flights flew over American airspace to Toronto. This was and likely is still, usual practice for certain flights.

So, why does the Wave Point consultant, hired by the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary, make an issue of the fact that sometimes Pacific Coastal flies over American airspace for its occasional southern approach (at page 87) to the Trail airport?

The reason given by the consultant is that American Military Operations out of Roosevelt “can on occasion” preclude a southern approach.  Therefore, he concludes sometimes Pacific Coastal lands in Castlegar.  Good spin, but, hardly necessary.

I also have a problem with the Mayor of Warfield serving on the Castlegar airport board as well as the RDKB. While it’s possible that a stipend there and a stipend here don’t amount to a conflict of interest, it does raise eyebrows.

The same goes for Rossland’s Mayor who also sits on the Castlegar airport board.  I can’t say either Mayor has much affection for Trail.  At least, that’s the popular perception of people who take the time to talk to me about their concerns.

Gathering information for a study is just the start of the process.  All the relevant information must then be weighed and analysed before conclusions are drawn and recommendations made.

When decision-making bodies look for a consultant, let’s say a crown agency board, they don’t look at nor hire consultants that might not give them what they want to hear.

For example, if a particular board is staffed with mainly NDPers, the board will hire a like-minded consultant who will give them what they want.  Same happens in Liberal or Conservative dominated boards.  Networks, baby!  Nothing new.

And, yes, holier than thou dippers do it, too.

When members of the decision-making body nod and smile in approval over the contents of a “friendly” report, then you know the consultant has given them what they want to hear.

How is that done?  Well, it doesn’t take much to put emphasis and spin on what the decision-makers want to hear.  Besides, there’s always the possibility of a follow-up contract.

Not that any of this is the case here, right?

Rose Calderon


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