Chap 2 | Calgary a pioneer in airport plans

Chap 2

In part, the CTA’s hopes for airport growth are predicated on a major push toward getting large airlines that now steer clear of the city to use the installation.

The CTA has already identified more than 10 cities in the United States that they feel would make for profitable air connections with Calgary, including Atlanta, Washington, Miami, Seattle and Portland.

Supporters of devolution such as Mr. Peppler and Mr. Watts emphasize that local control will mean stepping out from under Transport Canada’s skirt to sell airports as an economic generator.

”s it now stands, you can’t really push Calgary through Transport Canada,” Mr. Dover said.

”hat is especially true in the case of airlines. Their executives don’t get up in the morning and say ‘what should we do for Calgary?’ ” But the members of the CTA, which is a body formed jointly by the City of Calgary and the local Chamber of Commerce, are quite aware that even once negotiations are completed, all airport-related matters are hardly going to be in their hands.

Ottawa will retain a host of regulatory functions such as airport licencing, safety and security operations such as air traffic control, and customs and immigration affairs.

As well, the federal ticket tax, which brings in $24-million a year from Calgary’s major airport, would remain with Ottawa.

And no matter how successful the CTA is at getting international airlines interested in servicing Calgary, the acquisition of new routes is a matter that must be approved by the Department of External Affairs.

But what the CTA has included in its proposal is a financial inducement for the federal government – any profit from airport operations will be split with Ottawa.

”here’s a glamor associated with aviation. But that would wear off pretty quickly for all of us if the financing deal didn’t turn out to be correct,” Mr. Dover said.

”e’re certain there’s no hidden agenda to try to foist something off on the local communities that they can’t handle.”

In terms of those negotiations, the revenue generated by Calgary International Airport and the small Springbank Airport are certainly an open book.

Last year, about $31-million flowed in, split evenly between three aspects of operations – landing fees and gate rentals; passenger facilities such as shops that pay rent and a percentage of profits; and industrial leases and car parking.

The financial formula that has been worked out is predicated on revenue and estimated future growth being sufficient to cover operating costs, depreciation and maintenance of the installations, and provide some leeway in the end for capital expenditures.

And within Calgary’s flying community there are few opponents of such plans.

For most private flyers, such as Mr. Watts, it all adds up to an ideological truism – local control will mean greater fiscal responsibility, greater attention to the needs of users, and greater ability to build the market.

But Richard Paquette, the Transport Canada official who manages the Calgary airport, said that while such conclusions may be a general perception, Ottawa has taken steps in recent years to increase flexibility.

In areas such as entering into leases with the private sector and arrangements with air carriers, the Ottawa bureaucracy no longer sees all or even wants to.

In fact, Calgary has gone so far as to independently seek proposals from the private sector on the development of a golf course on airport property not foreseen as needed in the future for expansion.

”reviously, something like that would have been much more difficult to do due to the limited mandate we had,” Mr. Paquette said. ”ow that is being encouraged.”

Steps taken to better utilize space at the airport for sales of goods to tourists are beginning to bear fruit with a substantial increase in purchases in the past year.

”hat came as a result of a new thrust towards commercialization of the airport,” Mr. Paquette said. ”e see the airport as an important economic generator within the community.”

Such words could just as easily be expressed by members of the CTA.

And despite the negotiations over devolution, Transport Canada has gone ahead with a five-year plan that foresees Calgary’s main airport growing in terms of passenger volume at a rate of about 3 per cent annually.

That plan envisages no need for major capital spending and only moderate expenditures for repairs at the site.

If Transport Canada does indeed turn over control of the airport to local authorities then, it seems it will do so without burdening the CTA with more than it can handle.

Chap 1 | Calgary a pioneer in airport plans


The Globe and Mail CALGARY Behind David Dover ‘s desk lies a plaque commemorating a London-to- Victoria air race he took part in 15 years ago to mark British Columbia’s centennial.

His office, hiding behind a lumber store in an industrial building he owns, contains an assortment of bric-a-brac collected during 25 years flying private planes for pleasure.

But what was once a passion has now become a serious business pursuit as Mr. Dover, the chairman of the Calgary Transportation Authority , aims at completing negotiations at transferring control of Calgary’s two airports from the federal government to local hands.

Calary airport plan

Eighteen months after Transport Canada unveiled a policy for divesting itself of about 140 government-owned airports, the CTA and Ottawa are in the midst of negotiations toward making Calgary one of the first cities to take that step.

In economic terms, though, what they’re involved in is akin in some ways to a dance of the blind.

”here’s no precedent for something like this; no formula for how to go about it,” Mr. Dover said.

”wnership for ownership’s sake is not the criterion here. There has to be an economic reason for doing it.”

The CTA has had its best number-crunchers go over the books and they have come up with a financing method in which the Calgary authority would essentially pay off the $120-million net book value of the airports over 20 years.

At that point, the Calgary International Airport and a much smaller local airport would be, in financial terms, fully in the hands of the CTA.

But by then, they will have had two decades of experience running aspects of the airports’ operations than now stem largely from Ottawa.

Calgary is not the only city pursuing negotiations to turn its airport over to local authorities.

There have been varied levels of interest in about 40 airports, although only Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver and Montreal are what Victor Barbeau, the executive director of Ottawa’s Airports Transfer Task Force, refers to as ”ature files.”

But Calgary is in the forefront, both in its determination to see the negotiations completed and in its plans for expanding the scope of the international airport once devolution is completed.

”ransport Canada has had to try and coax a lot of municipalities to go along with the plan. Calgary is really the only city that could hardly wait to do it,” said William Peppler, general manager of the Canadian Owners and Pilots Association.

”hey have the confidence that they know they can do it. There won’t be any surprises for them.”

In part, that stems from the unwillingness with which the city turned over the airport to federal control in 1967, essentially forced to do so by an inability to come up with the money to finance a new terminal building.

”t was just too much money and the city couldn’t handle it,” said Bill Watts, the airport general manager at the time who maintained his position for years when the installation was under federal government control.

”e didn’t want to give it back.”

Buoyed by that common conviction and a plan, now being fleshed out, for increasing air traffic into Calgary International Airport from the United States and the Pacific Rim, Mr. Dover has been making frequent trips to Ottawa to bang out a letter of intent on how the devolution process should progress.

Like almost all aspects of the Alberta economy, the profitability of the operation once in local hands will depend to a great extent on the world price for oil and the accompanying growth in Calgary business.

But what made CTA officials breathe easier is that in a hefty series of reports prepared by consulting companies on the feasibility of devolution, it is concluded that the airport would turn a slight profit even if economic growth remained flat for years.

That is no insignificant feat in a country where Canada’s largest airports lost a total of more than $100-million last year.

he feds and the city and the province and the CTA all wanted to know that even in a disaster economy there wasn’t going to be a loss,” Mr. Dover said.

In part, the CTA’s hopes for airport growth are predicated on a major push toward getting large airlines that now steer clear of the city to use the installation.


ONE of the longest and most demanding air races ever held in Australia begins today at Narromine, in central NSW, when 125 aircraft take to the air in the General Electric Bicentennial Around Australia Air Race. The 14-day race will cover a distance of 11,300km. Competitors will travel up to Queensland, across to the Centre, to Darwin, down the west coast, and across to Melbourne, stopping at 22 airfields before finishing in Canberra on October 1. The race has been organised by the Royal Federation of Aero Clubs of Australia (RFACA).


Entrants have come from all over Australia as well as the US, France, Spain, New Caledonia and New Zealand. RFACA president and race committee chairman, Mr Jack Fahey, said the race was being held to highlight the importance of aviation in the history of this country. “This is certainly a race which is a worthy commemoration of the difficulties, and the pleasures, experienced by our pioneer aviators who did so much to open up the outback and service remote settlements,” he said. “I am quite sure it is an air race which the Aero Clubs and the other members of the federation can be proud of as our contribution to our Bicentenary.” The race will be conducted under Visual Flight Rules (VFR) without the use of navigational equipment. Crews will have to rely on identifiable landmarks which will pose quite a challenge when crossing the desert. Two Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) aircraft will accompany the race and will be available for search and rescue if required. Narromine was chosen as the start venue for the size of its airfield and its centrality to Sydney, Canberra and the east coast. The race begins at 7.30am.

Those magnificent men and their flying machines

The death-defying Roulettes leave nothing to chance with a belief that practise makes perfect When Chris Tulk was nine years old, he realised his future was literally up in the air. Standing in the crowd at an airshow in Wodonga, watching the Royal Australian Air Force’s aerobatics display team The Roulettes performing high above him, Chris said to himself: “Yep, that’ll do me.” This weekend, an expected crowd of 200,000 at the Australian International Airshow at Geelong’s Avalon Airport will see Chris (pictured above) and his plane, a Pilatus PC9, in one of his first public displays with The Roulettes. “I’m Roulette Three, which is one of the guys who sit on Lead’s wing … we’re the new guys.

He doesn’t let us get too far from him,” Chris reveals. And when Chris is talking about “too far”, he means as little as three metres between each aircraft as they perform their seemingly death-defying manoeuvres. At 32, Chris is an instructor’s instructor with the RAAF, responsible for teaching instructors how to train pilots, as well as a member of the aerobatics team. While joining The Roulettes was a lifelong dream, it has also meant Chris is no longer involved in combat operations. As the country focuses on a looming war with Iraq, Chris says he loves his work with the team but knowing he will never see combat is disappointing. “I think, as with any profession, anyone who’s highly trained to do a particular job wants to actually do the job. Once you’re trained to do something, you want to try to see if those skills are useful.” Not that his skills are going to waste. Formation flying, he says, is like tailgating in the sky: “If you drive along and just follow someone else’s car, you obviously don’t want to hit them, so you just focus on that. And they can be going anywhere – slowing down, speeding up – and you’re not really taking any particular notice of your speed. “Every member of the formation is just looking at Lead’s aircraft. Lead can be upside down when we’re doing loops or barrel rolls and, apart from the G forces on our body, we really wouldn’t have a clue because we’re not looking at anything except him. It’s a lot like tailgating. Of course, we have to add the third dimension, which makes it a little more difficult.” Difficult is an understatement. During its routines, the aerobatic team achieves speeds of 460-590 kmh.

The distance between the team’s seven planes is only metres as they perform complex manouevers such as ripple rolls, snake loops, roll backs, corkscrews and station changes. Chris’ fiancee and her parents recently came to see the team practise and, with the seven planes flying in tight formation, his future mother-in-law couldn’t watch. He reckons his mum, who will see him perform with the team for the first time at the airshow, will react the same way. But, he assures them, it’s much safer than it looks. “It’s a set routine and it gets rehearsed quite a lot, so we know what’s coming and can counter anything.” Chris downplays the dangers of his work but, in reality, the risk of blacking out while flying is very real. The G forces the aircraft pull during their precision routines affect the pilots in a number of ways. A ‘greyout’ occurs when the blood vessels in the eyeballs effectively collapse and, as the pilot’s peripheral vision turns grey, they experience tunnel vision. A blackout causes the pilot to lose sight completely, but, contrary to popular belief, is still conscious.

The RAAF refers to the final stage as ‘G-LOC’ or G-induced loss of consciousness in which the blood rushes away from the brain so quickly, the pilot passes out. With The Roulettes flying in such tight formation, even momentary loss of consciousness could have devastating effects. Pulling four to five Gs in their routines, they wear anti-G suits to protect them. “I’ve frequently experienced a greyout,” Chris says. “I’ve never experienced a blackout.” While Chris didn’t get to meet the pilots after they flew that day in Wodonga, he hopes the kids who watch him fly this weekend won’t miss out. Who knows? There could be a budding aerobatic pilot in the crowd. “At the end of the day when we land, we go and meet the kids. It’s fascinating because you just see the spark in their eyes and they look at you like you’re something special. They don’t understand that we’re not. They don’t realise we’re just them 20 years on.” The Roulettes will be one of many displays at the Australian International Airshow at Geelong’s Avalon Airport on February 14-16.

Commemorating 100 years since Wilbur and Orville Wright’s first powered flight, an array of static displays and airborne re-enactments will capture historic moments in flight throughout the century. A* Turn to page three for your chance to win one of 10 family passes (two adults and two children, aged 5-14) to the airshow.

Start the new year with a new plan to Get Up and Go

Get a fresh start

The beginning of a new year is a natural time to want to make changes and start fresh. The first thing many people look for is a way to exercise and be healthier. If you’ve been wondering how to Get Up and Go, you’re not alone. And if you haven’t even considered it, give it a try!



This Year, I Will …

Many people make New Year’s resolutions to improve some area of their lives. A resolution is a little different from a goal-instead of something you work toward in the future, a resolution is a habit you can adopt right now. But you can make it a goal to keep your resolution going all year.

A resolution can be as simple as deciding to take the stairs instead of the escalator each time you are at the mall. Or you might make a resolution to do a set of sit-ups every morning when you wake up. You can even resolve to remind yourself to have fun in gym class. The important thing is that a resolution be something that you can achieve.

Get a Game Plan

For anything you hope to achieve, developing a plan is vital. If your goal is to get fit in the new year, creating a plan will help you succeed. A good get-healthy program has three parts, says fitness expert and trainer Andrea Metcalf.

  1. Use a journal or calendar to keep track of your progress. Visit our Web site for a printable Get Up and Go exercise planner, which you can use to plan and record your workouts.
  2. Make time to move every day. Fitting in even a little exercise will help you feel great.
  3. Start the day with a healthy breakfast. Include a protein–yogurt, milk, or an egg–and a fruit or vegetable.

Stay Positive

You might soon hear people saying they broke their New Year’s resolutions. That is because people often make resolutions that are difficult to keep. There’s no harm in having a backup strategy if your original plan falls through, says Metcalf. For instance, if you had wanted to walk to school every day but find that waking up early enough is just too hard, you could instead walk home from school.



“A Plan B is a great way to know that if you do slip, there is a way to get back on track,” Metcalf says.

Try These

Buddy Up

Want to work out but also want more time with your friends? Then exercise together! That’s the advice from Tarrytown, N.Y. teen Melissa M. She and a friend followed a workout plan together at the Boys & Girls Club.

Find a sport for two, such as tennis. Do you like baseball, softball, or lacrosse? Get together for a regular game of catch. Or just exercise at the same time; having a friend on the next treadmill will make the going easier.

This Sport Is an Art

Consider trying a martial art. Karate, tae kwon do, and judo are some of the most well known of those sports, but there are many other styles. One might be just the thing for you. There is a lot more to those ancient activities than defeating bad guys in the movies. Depending on which martial art you choose, you can improve your strength, flexibility, and cardiovascular fitness–even your ability to relax and focus.


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