Vernon Airport defended as good neighbour

I do not know the reason for the anger of J. Gibbs towards the airport, but the comments are personal and unnecessary

A response to J. Gibbs and the concerns of the airport is warranted. I do not know the reason for the anger of J. Gibbs towards the airport, but the comments are personal and unnecessary.

Vernon Regional Airport is a commercial airport that houses industrial-based businesses focusing on aircraft manufacturing and maintenance as well as a base for corporate, commercial and general aviation.

There are 14 businesses on the field that employ approximately 120 people. Cumulatively the airport contributes $30 million annually to the local economy and has become a major economic generator for the region.

The City of Vernon has completed Phase I of a multi-phase upgrade to the airport since assuming control in 1998 with the goal of continuing to attract new business to the Vernon area.

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The Vernon Airport has been in its current place since 1946. J. Gibbs has only lived in the area of the airport for 20 years. Clearly when purchasing or renting the domicile, the real estate agent or landlord would have had knowledge to give about living near the airport.

According to City of Vernon Statistics, the airport was busier 20 years ago than it is today.

Although the letter states that a Med Evac Helicopter can land at Vernon Hospital, this is not always true.

The helicopters that are contracted to BCMSP are the Sikorsky S76, which require more landing room than smaller helicopters used and in summer, during “thin air conditions” can not land in small spaces with a heavy load.

An airport with runway facilities is needed.

The helicopters are mainland based and none currently within the Okanagan area.

Vernon Jubilee Hospital is not a trauma facility and does not have a high traffic zone for Med Evac helicopters, nor is the hospital zoned for regular transport flights.

There have been many city-led public forums on the use of the airport. People interested in commenting about the airport should attend these forums.

J. Gibbs has stated that the constant drone of a skydiving plane every hour is an unfair business practice.

How is this so?

Is there a competition for business issue here?

I live directly across from the airport.

I do not hear the noises that are described in the aforementioned letter to the editor.

I have heard comments from visitors from Vernon, as well as all over the world at the beach, at the golf courses, and at my own home that thoroughly enjoy the sights of chutes opening and the laughter of parachutists coming down from a height.

Our airport is a necessary facility, enjoyed by many and to be enjoyed more.

It seems to me that the letter is nothing but a ‘Nimby letter.’

Take a jump, and see what the attraction is.

G. Hesford



Vernon Morning Star