July 19th, 2024

Solution in the works for issue involving pilots distracted by greenhouses

By Tim Kalinowski on July 8, 2017.


Cypress County planning supervisor Jeffrey Dowling confirms the stakeholder group-involved discussions about lit greenhouses near the airport is inching closer to a solution.

“We haven’t quite come to a consensus,” he admits. “But we all want to create a situation where the greenhouses can continue to operate and still protect the viability and safety of the airport.”

Dowling says several possibilities have been discussed such as installing retractable blackout curtains on the roofs of current greenhouses causing the illumination problem for pilots, getting a professional risk assessment done to suggest other possible solutions, and installing new beacon equipment at the airport, which could help guide aircraft in electronically.

In terms of the last, it would be a long-term solution due to city budget restrictions. In terms of the first, stakeholders are trying to work out what would be the correct duration and timing during the night-time hours for such a blackout system to be in place.

“The blackout curtains do create quite a hot environment inside the greenhouse,” says Dowling.

Dowling says the city and county are still a few months away from bringing in regulatory changes to address the issue, but have been cooperating extremely well thus far.

“Ultimately both the City of Medicine Hat and Cypress County, and even possibly Redcliff, will look at incorporating regulations into our Land Use Bylaw, our municipal development plan and our inter-municipal development plan when the time comes, in order to be able to regulate this. From the county’s point of view, in our dealings with the city on this particular issue, both municipalities are coming up with something which is fair to everybody.”

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