Expanding Springbank to remain friendly


COPA supports Springbank Airport’s decision to open its runway to light jet operation as long as it does not squeeze out GA businesses and private aviation.

COPA President Kevin Psutka says the many positive developments at Springbank in recent years and the support that the Calgary Airport Authority has provided in order to build this reliever airport makes it a fine example for other cities and Airport Authorities in Canada.

However, concerns have been raised over the rising costs to businesses and private aircraft owners based at Springbank. Some think the rising costs and allowing jets to operate there will eventually force flight schools and private owners to move elsewhere.

Psutka wrote to Randy Charron, president Springbank Airport Business and Pilots Association and to Wayne Smook, Calgary Airport Authority senior director Airside Operations & Environment, expressing COPA’s support of Springbank’s growth, but Psutka said, “My support comes along with a strong desire that the traditional roles of flight training and private aviation remain the focus of this airport. I trust that the proponents of the expanded role will continue to provide a home for these activities, whose price sensitivity and access requirements should not be ignored in favour of a relatively small additional sector.”

Smook responded to the letter assuring COPA Springbank will continue to support training and private pilot aircraft operations well into the future.

“The Authority (Calgary Airport Authority) has invested significant resources into Springbank in the past number of years to enhance the airport. The Authority very much understands the price sensitivity of the GA sector and will continue to work toward fair and equitable services and costs at Springbank.”

Smook also assured jet operation at Springbank will be limited and should not affect aircraft owners and businesses based at the airport.

“The elevation and runway length (5,000 expanded) significantly limits the size and type of jet aircraft that can be accommodated at Springbank. We do not foresee a wholesale migration of jet aircraft to Springbank and the airport will continue with its traditional role of being home to GA.”