CYSJ Center Line Lighting

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Pratt X 3
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CYSJ Center Line Lighting

Post by Pratt X 3 » Wed May 21, 2008 2:13 pm

Found this on another website but I thought it was an important issue to be discussed so I don't think Mr. Hackett would mind me posting it on here.
Fellow Aviators

This is being addressed to you airline folk, Air Canada/Jazz/Westjet/Georgian/Sunwing, who operate regularly to Saint John, NB during those "foggy" summer months.

For those of you who do, I'm sure you can attest to Environment Canada's claim that YSJ is the 3rd foggiest city in Canada....over 600hrs per year with visibility less than 1km!

Approx. 4 years ago, when runway 23/05 (ILS both ends) was being resurfaced, I approached the airport board and CEO and mentioned the new TC Approach Ban that was going to be implemented shortly. I advised them that they may want to upgrade runway lighting, including installation of center line lighting, but, at the time, they said they didn't have sufficient funding...1 year later, they expanded the terminal building!?!

Move ahead to March, 2008. It was announced that the YSJ airport had an operating surplus last year of $800,000.00...what do they want to do with that capital?...you got it, expand the terminal building again.

I truly believe, having operated out of YSJ now for 14 years, that the operational capabilities and even flight safety are being jepeordize for the sake of a nicer terminal building. I'm sure the paying public would rather stand in a crowded departure lounge for 15-20 minutes waiting to board their flight rather than sitting in a spacious lounge for 2-3 hours waiting for the fog to clear because RVR's are below 1200 and they can't depart...how many countless pax have missed their connecting flts in YHZ/YUL/YYZ because of the YSJ fog?

With center line lighting, Georgian Airways wouldn't be restricted to their 1800RVR landing limit and all operators, with a reduced vis. Ops Spec, would be able to depart with vis. limits down to 600RVR...this would virtually ensure no more departure delays out of YSJ.

From a pure flight safety standpoint, those dirty 1200RVR approaches at night with a slight crosswind, well, for those that have seen it (and it can be at, or just above 1200RVR for days at a time), know how difficult it can be to judge drift during the flare without the aid of those center line lights.

I've attached a link to the local Saint John paper, The Telegraph Journal, with a story about this very subject (I'll print out the link as well, not sure if it'll auto jump to the site, as this is my first post). For those that do operate to YSJ I'm asking if you would please read the article and, if you feel as strongly about this issue as I do, then write to Editor or send your opinion electronically to the paper.

I believe if the CEO and the airport board hear from enough of us, then maybe, just maybe, we can make a difference. I think it's time, we the operators take back some control, especially when it comes to something as important to flight safety and operational enhancement of this, the 2nd fastest growing airport in Canada.

If possible, could those of you who read this pass it on to other pilots at your company...or maybe just the link to the news article...at least that way, everyone has a chance to be informed.

BTW, your ecomments to the paper can be sent "Anonymously"

Heres the link http://telegraphjournal.canadaeast.com/ ... cle/299962

Thank you
Dale Hackett
Chief Pilot
Irving Group of Companies
And...
This is a follow-up story in today's Telegraph Journal.

http://telegraphjournal.canadaeast.com/ ... cle/302174

To date, I've received several supporting letters but still require more if I'm to approach the airport board. I really believe this is a fight worth fighting and, for those of you who fly regularly in YSJ during the summer months, probably do too.

You can respond directly to the article (you have to create a username/password and log on, but thats free), email a "letter to the Editor" or, if you wish, personal message me through this site.

I appreciate those of you who have responded to this topic.

I'll keep you posted as to our progress, but at least we've persuaded the board to listen to our argument...something they didn't want to do prior to the media coverage.

I think having someone from TC attend the board meeting as well, if for no other reason than to explain CBAAC 256 to them (and me, actually!), might be enough to "scare' them into action.

Regards

Dale Hackett
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Re: CYSJ Center Line Lighting

Post by KAFUFO » Wed May 21, 2008 11:45 pm

Why should they spend money when your going too anywayssssssssssssss :D
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Re: CYSJ Center Line Lighting

Post by Naveed » Thu May 22, 2008 3:54 am

The YSJ terminal is a hole, you could dump all the money there you want it wont make it any better, how much more can you expand a place thats only able to accommodate 3 dash 8's at a time
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Re: CYSJ Center Line Lighting

Post by kevenv » Thu May 22, 2008 12:50 pm

I would imagine the Irvings would be a big factor in whether or not the airport made improvements like you are suggesting. After all, I believe they were the driving force behind the tower closing, convinced it would be cheaper without it.
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Re: CYSJ Center Line Lighting

Post by it'sme » Fri May 23, 2008 5:39 pm

After all, I believe they were the driving force behind the tower closing,

You're joking right?
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Re: CYSJ Center Line Lighting

Post by Pratt X 3 » Mon Jun 16, 2008 11:44 am

UPDATE:
Posted: Jun 16 2008, 03:46 PM

CYSJ Centre Line Lighting Update

For those that are interested...We've stirred the pot enough that the YSJ airport CEO has convened a special meeting of the airport board to discuss installing centre line lighting on rnwy 23/05!

This meeting will include Air Canada-Jazz/Westjet/TC/NavCanada and several other local operators.

I understand that several local politicians, after reading the many "letters to the editor" sent by pilots from across Canada, have started to question why the 3rd foggiest city in the nation doesn't have centre line lighting.

Prior to this meeting taking place July 3rd, I'd like more of you to send a letter to the editor of the Saint John Telegraph Journal making a case for the installation of the lights...and yes, even retired pilots, with their wealth of experience, have a voice! Actually, by what I've read, they both have a very good voice....lol

If you are at all interested, the editors email is tjletters@telegraphjournal.com

You will have keep the text to under 250 words, give your name, address and phone number (only your name & city are published).

This is a good fight and for those of you sick of seeing endless $$ being spent on improving terminal buildings. et al, while the operational side makes due with the bare basics, this is a time to make yourself heard.

Thanks again
Dale Hackett
Chief Pilot
Irving Group of Companies
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Re: CYSJ Center Line Lighting

Post by kevenv » Tue Jun 17, 2008 5:04 am

it'sme wrote:After all, I believe they were the driving force behind the tower closing,

You're joking right?
Not at all. Although it happened before I got here, all the corporate knowledge (ie: all the people that were here when it happened) tells me that the Irving's were a major force behind getting the tower closed. The reason given when it is talked about is money. Now I'm not suggesting that the numbers didn't support it so don't get your panties in a knot. Only relaying what was told to me by the people that were around when it happened. If you have something other that "you're joking" to contribute in rebuttal I'd love to hear what it is.
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Re: CYSJ Center Line Lighting

Post by lilfssister » Tue Jun 17, 2008 3:24 pm

Not picking a fight here, but curious how the control service being changed to advisory service would save money?
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Re: CYSJ Center Line Lighting

Post by kevenv » Tue Jun 17, 2008 5:55 pm

lilfssister wrote:Not picking a fight here, but curious how the control service being changed to advisory service would save money?
I assume it costs more to fly into an airport with a tower as opposed to an FSS. Anyone know for sure?
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Re: CYSJ Center Line Lighting

Post by lilfssister » Tue Jun 17, 2008 6:12 pm

I don't think so, but someone pays (or at least approves for payment) the bills could probably give a better answer.
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Re: CYSJ Center Line Lighting

Post by Pygmie » Tue Jun 17, 2008 9:23 pm

kevenv wrote:
lilfssister wrote:Not picking a fight here, but curious how the control service being changed to advisory service would save money?
I assume it costs more to fly into an airport with a tower as opposed to an FSS. Anyone know for sure?
I'm not an expert on the subject, and I certainly don't pay the bills, but as far as I can tell there is no cost difference (as far as Nav Canada charges go) between flying into a towered airport vs. a flight service airport.

This is from the Nav Canada website:

The Terminal Services Charge is for terminal services provided or made available at or in the vicinity of an aerodrome. Services include dedicated approach/departure control services provided by the ACCs and the TCU, or aerodrome services including, for example, airport advisory services from an FSS and air traffic control from a tower. The charge is applied to departing flights from aerodromes with air navigation facilities staffed by either NAV CANADA personnel or a person acting under the authority of the Minister of National Defence.

So it doesn't matter if there is a full Tower/Terminal operation at the airport, or just an FSS site, you're paying the same terminal charge.
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Re: CYSJ Center Line Lighting

Post by kevenv » Wed Jun 18, 2008 2:57 am

Pygmie wrote:So it doesn't matter if there is a full Tower/Terminal operation at the airport, or just an FSS site, you're paying the same terminal charge.
After a few quick calculations on the NavCanada site it appears you are correct. I withdraw my original statement and will tell my co-workers next time this comes up.
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Re: CYSJ Center Line Lighting

Post by Pratt X 3 » Tue Jun 24, 2008 3:24 pm

The latest article from the Telegraph-Journal:
http://telegraphjournal.canadaeast.com/ ... cle/334867
For safety's sake, light the runway
Published Tuesday June 24th, 2008

The Saint John Airport authority is under a great deal of pressure to improve its operations. The airport has made a commitment to do so, but its spending priorities have come under fire.

Commercial pilots want the airport to adopt centreline runway lighting before upgrading support facilities, such as the passenger terminal and parking lots. We're inclined to agree.

Only eight airports in Canada have centreline lighting, but the technology is touted by pilots as an essential improvement for cities like Saint John, where dense fog is a common occurrence. The lighting runs down the middle of the runway. This guideline helps planes on the ground take off in poor weather by giving pilots an extra tool to judge direction and distance. But its greatest value is as a directional aid for planes that are landing.

Pilots approaching an airport without centreline lighting require 1,200 feet of visibility to land safely. Airports with centreline lighting can keep operating down to half that visibility, reducing the number of flights diverted to other airports because of fog.

Centreline lighting is of particular value to airports served by smaller commercial planes, which can only circle an airport for 10-15 minutes or so before they have to make the decision to divert to another location.

The airport's directors need to ask themselves what's at stake in this decision. Expanded parking and passenger facilities are conveniences; centreline runway lighting is a basic safety feature. By choosing to make other facility improvements first, the airport's directors are putting the proverbial cart before the horse.

In the past few weeks, the Telegraph-Journal has received a volume of mail from commercial pilots who have flown in and out of the Port City. They've all offered the same advice: invest in centreline lighting to ensure passengers' safety.

If the airport can't offer pilots and passengers the security of increased visibility, its new parking lot and improved terminal will never fill up.
Again, if you want to add your 2cents, send a max 250 word letter along with your name, address & day time phone (only your name & city published) to; tjletters@telegraphjournal.com
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Re: CYSJ Center Line Lighting

Post by Pratt X 3 » Mon Jun 30, 2008 6:15 pm

Another editorial:
http://telegraphjournal.canadaeast.com/ ... cle/340531
The business case for runway lighting
Published Monday June 30th, 2008

It's a tough time to work in the air travel industry. Across North America and around the world, airlines are scaling back flight schedules, dropping routes and grounding planes as the price of fuel approaches stratospheric levels.

In such a competitive, cut-rate environment, you would think an airport in a small market would do whatever it could just to hang on to its existing business. In the case of Saint John's airport, you would be wrong.

To expand as local businesses and travellers would like, Saint John's airport authority must overcome two obstacles. The one most people think of first is competition from the other two airports in southern New Brunswick, based in Moncton and Fredericton. But the real deal killer is the fog.

Reduced visibility due to fog is considered a flight hazard by federal regulators. Without centreline runway lighting to increase visibility, Saint John runs the risk of flight cancellations and diverted planes - a costly inconvenience that could drive air carriers and their customers away.

St. John's, N.L. prides itself on being "the fog capital of the world." Its air authority has already added centreline lighting to one of its three runways and is looking for competitive bids on lighting a second. Halifax has centreline lighting as well. It costs money - but not as much as losing business because of fog delays.

Improving runway visibility is primarily a safety issue. For air carriers, it also cuts fuel costs and improves customer satisfaction. That's a factor Saint John's airport authority needs to consider.
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