By Alf Bicknell
The Sundre Flying Club’s “GPS Project” has finally been successfully completed without costs to the taxpayers or to Mountain View County. The GNSS Instrument Let-Down is now operational 24/7 making the Sundre Airport in marginal weather capable of being accessible to operators with the necessary equipment in their aircraft and the appropriate approvals for the restricted approach.
The new Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) approach is currently restricted only to operators who possess an Operating Certificate (commercial operations), Private Operating Certificate (business aviation operations) and also hold the appropriate operations specification.
It is hoped that in time the necessary Transport Canada approval will be in place to remove the restriction so that the approach will be legal for all other operators, including private pilots with instrument ratings.
The Sundre Airport, part of the transportation infrastructure of Mountain View County, is located West of the Red Deer River. In March of 2002, following, the Dog Rib Fire of October 16, 2001, and Sour Gas Leaks in the Bearberry area, the Bearberry Wapitana Society published a Road Map of escape routes.
However, the map cut off at the Sundre Airport. Understandable, since, at that time, the Sundre Airport was useable only in good weather, under Visual Flight Rules (VFR).
When word came out that new GPS Procedures were available, under Instrument Flight Rules, that could make the Sundre Airport accessible during inclement weather conditions, the members of the Sundre Flying Club, on the suggestion of MLA Ty Lund, checked into Alberta provincial grants.
The Alberta Lottery Board, under their Community Initiatives Program (CIP) was contacted. The grant requirement was that the Sundre Flying Club be able to raise half the cost of the project.
Mountain View County, owner of the Sundre Airport, granted permission to proceed.
The Sundre Flying Club’s “GPS Fund” was then started off with a $100 donation from the Bearberry Wapitana Community Association, under Treasurer, Peg Blocksom, herself a pilot.
Many donors and supporters are to be thanked as the Sundre Flying Club, an Alberta non-profit society under the official name Mountain View Pilots & Flying Association, raised $17,000.60, which was more than sufficient to receive the $13,813.00 grant from the Alberta Lottery Board on Nov. 26, 2004.
The monies were placed in a Trust Fund in the Sundre Mountain View Credit Union.
Ed McDonald of JetPro Consultants, a Transport Canada approved designer of GPS Procedures, was contracted by the Sundre Flying Club to prepare the approaches for a Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) Instrument Let-Down for the Sundre Airport.
The Sundre Flying Club wishes to say thank you to all who, four years ago, supported and donated to the Sundre Flying Club's "GPS Fund."