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Another issue @ Whitehorse


Registered User
Nimpo Lake, BC . . . AKA "the Floatplane Capital o
From JM Sauve in Whitehorse...

[FONT=Arial,sans-serif]Good day everyone, we are dealing with yet another issue, quite a drastic one to say the least. Without any consultation or proper advisory, the Whitehorse airport authorities have decided to shut down the only cross wind runway we have, namely Runway 19. Runway 19 is vital to all commercial and private aviators for obvious safety reason. Please find attached the letter we have submitted to the Minister of Highways and Public works, the honorable Mr. Wade Istchenko.[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial,sans-serif]Today, we heard from his office and a meeting was set up with the airport manager. Problem is that we requested to meet directly with the minister and the deputy minister simply because in the past, meeting with airport manager were futile.[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial,sans-serif]I am asking that you take 3 minutes to read the letter and pass it on to anyone who uses or has the potential to use CYXY and write directly to the minister with any concerns you may have with the closure of Runway 19. We are doing this for everyone's safety.[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial,sans-serif]Thank you once again for your generous support of this past few months, we have been dealing with couple high profile issues affecting every aviator based or passing through CYXY and your support has not gone unnoticed by the involved parties.[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Cheers, J-M[/FONT]
Jean-Michel SauveDirector, COPA Yukon Chapter - Flight 106

September 16, 2014

Yukon Government
Minister of Highway and Public Works
Honorable Wade Istchenko

Closure of Runway 19 at the Whitehorse Airport

Dear Mr. Istchenko
I write to you in regards to an alarming matter that has come to light, not through an official announcement from the government or airport authority, but rather through word of mouth from commercial operators on the field.

In early September, COPA Flight 106 Yukon Chapter received a complaint from a commercial operator stating that they were refused landing on Runway 19 at the Whitehorse Airport. In fact, the commercial operator requested landing on Runway 19 due to safety concerns with crosswind but was refused such by the control tower. The operator believed that the runway closure was due to the current construction. Further investigation revealed that the control tower had been instructed by airport authorities that Runway 19 had been officially closed and not to allow landing.

COPA Yukon and other commercial operators have asked airport authorities why runway 19 was closed but to date have not received a solid answer.
Over the past months, one of our directors attended several airport construction meetings and was assured that the closing of Runway 19 was temporary and only due to the resurfacing of the parallel runway. Now we learn that the closure of Runway 19 supposedly is permanent and happened without notification to all parties involved ie: private and commercial operators.

The essence of an airport is to offer properly maintained runways available for safe operations. It is true that Runway 19 is not used that frequently, but this completely misses the point. Runway 19 is not needed every day, but when it is needed, it is essential to safe operation for the vast majority of aircraft operating into the airport, especially those with a single engine and conventional gear up to about 6000lbs gross weight. The most typical crosswind at Whitehorse is from the southwest at speeds well above 10 knots. Such winds are virtually a direct crosswind for aircrafts using Runways 14-32. Aircrafts being affected by this crosswind include many commercially operated aircraft and every private aircraft based at Whitehorse.

On behalf of COPA Yukon and its members, as well as Alkan Air, Alpine Aviation, Nomad Air, Tintina Air and all other users of the Whitehorse Airport, we urge you to review your decision on closing Runway 19.

Closure of Runway 19 poses severe concerns for serious damage to aircraft, injuries and death to crews and passengers. Therefore, COPA Yukon and its partners are requesting;

A meeting with the minister of Highways and Public Works at the earliest convenience
An immediate cessation of all development interfering with the use of
Runway 19 until this issue is resolved
The immediate reopening and maintenance of Runway 19 for landing purposes

For the board and members of COPA Yukon / Flight 106

Christoph Altherr

CC: YTG Aviation Branch, Airport Manager Whitehorse,
Canadian Owner and Pilots Association,

Minister Istchenko's email address: wade.istchenko@gov.yk.ca