FLOAT PLANES AT THE WHARF

What we have done on your behalf.

LETTER TO TRANSPORT CANADA 

T0: Keith Reilly at Transport Canada

By Fax: #416-952-0050

Telephone: 416-952-7254

E-mail: <reillyk@tc.gc.ca> 

From:  Diane Yeates 

Good Morning Keith I hope you can help the people on Muskoka Bay have a better understanding of aerodromes and the operation of float planes.  We are interested in any or all information as it would pertain to the bay.  I am sending you a map with dimensions I recently received from Town of Gravenhurst.  I do believe these figures are high water measures as I have always known The Narrows to be 100 feet.

That is not likely of any relevance to you as I have never seen and cannot imagine a float plane using The Narrows.  I will try to give you information about the Bay for your consideration. 

So you see our questions are with safety, environment (especially noise) and look to Ministry of Transport for safe guards to preserve the Muskoka nature of the Bay. 

Questions:

  1. We have, I understand 2 aerodromes on Lake Muskoka.  How many water aerodromes are allowed in any particular area?
  2. We have an airport within the Gravenhurst boundaries on highway 11.  It may prudent to locate sight tours from that airport.
  3. Do noise studies have to be done for an aerodrome in consideration of inhabitants in a populated area as well as fish and deer habitat?
  4. Are there studies to determine the pollution effect of float planes on the water from exhaust or any means?
  5. How many float plane accidents have there been in Canada during the last 2 years and where were they?
  6. What were any accidents that have occurred been caused by?
  7. Once an area has been declared an aerodrome, can it be used as a flight school with repeated takeoff and landing?
  8. Please note map; could distance  from within the harbour be used as distance needed to take –off and land?
  9. What distance is needed to take off safely on float plane ?
  10. What side  distance is needed from shoreline?
  11. What vertical distance is required for safe landing of a float plane?

We are very grateful for your service to us in answering these questions.  I know there are more to come.  Could you possibly advise us of the site on the web were we can follow this very important  information and understand.  In pursuing the web site I was not certain if all the amendments were in place and indeed regulations and procedure for Transport Canada. 

Diane Yeates, President & Directors  Muskoka Bay Property Owners Association  

 

   Greater Gravenhurst Residents Association

            This arose to public consciousness when the economic development officer brought before council a proposal to have a float plane operation and seaplane base at the wharf.  The idea – a company which owns 4 such planes would offer trips from the wharf to visitors.  The company would pay $1800 per year to the wharf for rental of the set of docks beside the museum. 

No further details were supplied.   

Part of the rationale for the EDO and councillors is that last summer an unregulated (by the town) float plane operation was being conducted at the wharf.   To approve this proposal could give the town some control of the nature of the operation. 

Many unanswered questions have risen – how many planes, how frequent flights, what safety precautions are being put in place, does this represent differential fees for wharf users, why does COIP approve this summer long mooring at the docks when they refused such rentals 2 years ago?  Would approving this operation stop others like the company  who operated last summer?   What happens if the Bay is declared a seaplane base?  What further air traffic can result. 

The MBPOA has opposed the proposal.  They sent a letter to this effect to the mayor and council.   

We encourage members to write to the council expressing their views pro or con.

 

 

 Greater Gravenhurst Residents Association

Gravenhurst, Ontario, P1P 1M2

Mayor Klinck and Council Members.

Lance Sherk 

The Greater Gravenhurst Residents' Association is sending this letter to support the Muskoka Bay Property Owners opposition of the float plane tour business at the Wharf. 

Our concerns are basically the same....safety in the small bay

                                                                   allowing commercial lease of docks for nominal fees

                                                                   noise and air pollution

                                                                   uncharacteristic business for the Heritage Village

                                                                   public opposition, therefore non support of Wharf Activities

 

If the Bay becomes an Aerodrome we are in great danger of having more than four planes landing in and out of the bay.    This would certainly exacerbate a dangerous situation.   Boat traffic is at a maximum on long weekends or for special events.  Can we also accommodate float planes taxiing in and out of the bay? 

Dock leases for the public are not allowed at the Wharf - COIP stipulations.  How does this commercial business qualify for dock space, and why at the regular rate, when the business at the wharf pay high fees for their "footprints".  Dock space has been quoted as "for day use only".  Isn't this for longer term than for day use?  If one commercial business is allowed, why not more?  Is commercial what those docks are soon to be used for? 

Also, environmentally, is this a sound decision?  Noise pollution, and air pollution must be a factor here.  We are seeing many residents on the bay complaining of the noise and the danger.  The wharf needs the citizens support.   Many do NOT support Gravenhurst Bay being turned into an aerodrome with one or more float planes flying in and out during the day when activities on the water are at their peak. 

The GGRA supports the Wharf activities.  We want the wharf to succeed.  But not at the cost of the environment., the citizens peace of mind, or of their safety.  Our waterfront needs to be treated with respect, not as a business proposition.  We urge Council to reconsider leasing the docks to this Air Charter Tour business, and to reconsider allowing their business to operate in Gravenhurst Bay. 

Yours truly 

Board of Directors,

GGRA

May 29, 2008

 Greater Gravenhurst Residents Association

Subject: Segwun Aircraft Charters and Tours, Float Plane Operation at Muskoka Wharf
 
We attended the June 3rd Council Meeting, and were was pleased when a unanimous motion was passed to deny Segwun Aircraft Charters, or any such commercial entity from using the docks at Muskoka Wharf.  We visited Muskoka Wharf today and saw two planes docked across from Grace and Speed. There was a small Cessna  C-GVC and a larger passenger plane C-FZXD docked there. There were three pilots with Segwun Air shirts and a couple of official looking gentlemen discussing the operating parameters of their charters and tours. Discussions included location for docking and the installation or rubber bumpers, all confirmed as agreeable by one of the gentlemen. 
 
Walking away from the docks we noticed a large sandwich board sign advertising  "Airplane Rides Here" for 20 minutes at $70/hr per person, minimum of four people.  I then went into Muskoka Outfitters and was informed that they had leased space to Segwun Air Charters for a desk in a corner of the store for their bookings.
 
Clearly this is contrary to the motion passed on Tuesday June 3rd and clearly, neither Muskoka Outfitters or Segwun Aircraft Charters have been informed of Council's decision! We will continue to check this.

RETURN TO MAIN PAGE