About the Rocky Airport:
The Rocky Mountain House Airport is located 5.6 km north northeast of Rocky Mountain House, and is jointly owned by the Town of Rocky Mountain House and Clearwater County. The airport has a licensed 5,000 ft (1,524 m) runway, with the existing runway surface extending 6,000 ft (1,828 m) over gravel base.
The Rocky Mountain House Airport welcomes private and commercial aircraft year-round. The Rocky Mountain House Airshow takes place every two to three years, and draws thousands of spectators from across Alberta.
A permanent designated aerobatic practice space makes the Rocky Mountain House Airport a popular spot for aerobatic pilots to train. The airport hosts an Aerobatics Canada contest each year, usually in late August or early September.
Contact the Airport
403-845-4742 (Airport office)
Aerodrome Winter Maintenance Policy
Council approved a policy for winter maintenance at the Rocky Mountain House Airport. The Aerodrome Winter Maintenance Policy 007/2021 outlines time standards and minimum snow depths for staff to maintain the runway and aprons during and after snowfall. The policy was recommended to Council by the Airport Committee earlier this month, and reflects current practice of maintenance at the Airport.
The Aerodrome Winter Maintenance Policy 007/2021 was adopted on April 20, 2021.
Airport Terminal Design Public Engagement Summary
The results will go to the Airport Commission for discussion to provide a recommendation to the Town and County councils. We are waiting for the engineer’s comments on Mr. Bouwman’s suggestion, and are expecting them this week.
Aerobatics Report Update
The County administration has provided its comments on the aerobatic report and they have been incorporated into said document. This report will go to the Airport Commission for discussion. The agenda package, including the aerobatics report, will be circulated to the commission members and stakeholders prior to the meeting.
Airport Commission Meeting
Once we have the engineer’s comments on terminal design we will be establishing a meeting date with commission members. Please note that due to current COVID-19 restrictions (gatherings, social distancing etc.) public will not be able to attend in person. The meeting will be livestreamed; details will be circulated to airport stakeholders and posted here.
The Town of Rocky Mountain House is soliciting public feedback into the design of a new Airport Terminal building,
A Virtual Open House will take place on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. Attendees will have the opportunity to review three separate concept drawings and ask questions in a Zoom Webinar platform. The purpose of the virtual open house is not to make a decision at that time, but to ensure everyone has an opportunity to provide input into this significant capital project.
An online survey will also be available between Feb. 22 and March 5.
This engagement process is in accordance with the Town of Rocky Mountain House' Strategic Plan Goals of being a collaborative community that communicates, engages and responds to its citizens.
Check back for details or to take the survey, after Feb. 22.
REGISTER NOW FOR THE ENGAGEMENT WEBINAR:
When: Feb 24, 2021 06:00 PM Mountain Time (US and Canada)
Topic: Rocky Mountain House Airport Terminal design public engagement
(After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar)
This is to provide you with an update on some of the items from the November 20th letter and clear up some misinformation out there.
The Consultant for the terminal building is currently putting together a public engagement package to seek input on the new terminal building. This will include three options including a revised option as per the Airport Commission’s direction. The engagement process will include an online survey and an open house which is being planned to be virtual at this time. Once the package is drafted and reviewed by Clearwater County it will be released. We are targeting the end of January or early February for this.
Snow Removal Procedure
This procedure is almost complete and will be sent to Clearwater County in early January for review. Several other airports procedures have been reviewed to determine best practices.
Aerobatic Flying below 2000 feet
This report will be completed by mid-January and contain options as noted before. It will be released for input as per the November 20th letter.
Misinformation on Facebook
It has come to the Town’s attention there has been some misinformation on Facebook posts, particularly in three areas which I will address below.
- 1. Air Ambulance
It has been posted that Medivac has been redirected twice because of snow on the runway. This is false as no fixed wing air ambulance have been required in Rocky in the past four months, as confirmed by the Associate Executive Director of Provincial Air Ambulance Operations.
- 2. CADORS / Transport Violation
CADORS is an acronym for Civil Aviation Daily Occurrence Reporting System. They are short documents used to report events, violations or unusual situations at or around aerodromes and airports and they can be generated by various people, including aerodrome managers and NAV Canada personnel. The CADORS issued on Oct. 16, 2020, is the direct result of the Airport Supervisor contacting Nav Canada before going onto the runway to plow snow and filing a NOTAM closing the runway while snow was being removed.
Oct. 16 was a low-ceiling and visibility day and the Airport Supervisor didn't want anyone popping out of low cloud and landing while removing snow. Because he filed that NOTAM, Nav Canada personnel generated an Aviation Occurrence report, which automatically generated a CADORS, which said on 16 OCT 2020 "runway 13/31 was closed due to snow. NOTAM issued."Both the NOTAM and CADORS were issued as the result of the Airport Supervisors phone call to Nav Canada in the name of safety. It is simply false to say it was the result of any kind of Transport Canada violation.
- 3. The RCAF
- The Royal Canadian Air Force continues to use our airport. An RCAF 417 Squadron “Huey” landed here on November 4 of this year and visited with the Airport Supervisor. They came here because they were doing some mountain training west of here.
That fast mover that did a low pass over Rocky on Dec. 18 had no intention of stopping – the pilot did not make any radio calls or come close to the aerodrome. However, the RCAF are welcome at the Rocky Mountain House Airport anytime.
This update was emailed to all airport stakeholders on Dec. 21, 2020.
Chief Administrative Officer
Town of Rocky Mountain House
Permission for Vehicle Access to Apron and Taxiway Bravo at the Rocky Mountain House Aerodrome
Operating a vehicle on the maneuvering areas of any aerodrome in Canada is a privilege regulated by Transport Canada; not a right.
While determined to comply with the Canadian Aviation Regulations to protect the Registration of this aerodrome and the investment of all stakeholders, the Operator is granting permission for leaseholders and tenants, most of whom are pilots, to access their hangars when necessary, via Taxiway B, which can be accessed through the gate south of the terminal.
Please complete the Permission for Vehicle Access form and return it to the Airport Supervisor.
Through this administrative procedure, the Town of Rocky Mountain House will ensure only authorized drivers are on the airside, that drivers are aware of the safety rules and have a minimum level of insurance.
Please fill out the form for each potential vehicle operator with their signature and return to the Airport Supervisor
The original of this document will act as an airside vehicle operator’s permit for the person who signs it, allowing that person to access hangars via the apron and Taxiway B only once a signed copy has been returned to the Aerodrome Operator.
Permission for Vehicle Access - fillable PDF form
Dear Airport Stakeholders:
The Town has become aware that there is uncertainty, confusion and some rumours about airport operations and direction. The intent of this letter is to hopefully provide clarity to the issues that have come to our attention.
Airport Commission Meetings
The Airport Agreement is scheduled to be re-negotiated between the Town and County. The two municipalities have been reviewing and negotiating agreements for the past two years with a few more agreements to go. During this negotiating period, the committees associated with these agreements did not meet as the structure, purpose and authority of them were being reviewed. Specifically, these were the Fire and Rescue Advisory Board and the Regional Waste Authority Board. The Town suspending the Airport Commission meetings is in keeping with this practice.
To date, the airport has not had a policy or procedure on winter maintenance. Town staff are working on this right now and will distribute to all stakeholders once it is been completed and reviewed by Clearwater County. As part of drafting this procedure, staff are reviewing several other airports procedures to determine a standard that achieves safety and an acceptable level of service within operational capabilities.
In the past, all phone calls to the airport number went to the Airport Manager’s cell phone. If the manager was not available to take the call, the caller had no other option. This is being changed in that a landline is being reestablished for the airport. After hour calls will be automatically forwarded to the Town’s answering service and if warranted, the Town’s on call personnel. This will establish a 24hr service for any issue that may arise at the airport.
Tracking Air Movements
The Town requested that the air movements at the airport be tracked for statistical purposes. The main purpose of this was to assist in determining the use and requirements of the terminal building to assist in the design. The other purpose was for promotional and public information purposes. Not many of the residents in the area know the usage of the airport or its importance as a transportation hub for businesses and visitors.
Another important aspect of recording aircraft movements is to obtains grants for the airport. The Provincial Strategic Transportation Infrastructure Program provides grants for runway lighting and rehabilitation of runways, aprons and taxiways. This is a competitive grant and the volume of air traffic is an evaluation criterion.
The perception that this was requested for the purpose of imposing landing fees is not correct. While the topic of landing fees has come up occasionally, as with all airports, there is no direction to investigate or impose landing fees.
While the Airport Commission has provided a recommendation on the new terminal building design at a cost of approximately $2,000,000, the Town has received feedback that it is too exorbitant. As a result of this, Town Council has requested an open house and a public input process to ensure everyone has an opportunity to provide input.
The Town has met with the consultant and has initiated that process. We will be working with the consultant to prepare the required information, drawings and options for presentation. The Town will be consulting with Clearwater County on this as it develops. With COVID, we will have to be innovative in this and ensure opportunities are created that allow all to be able to provide input. As the terminal will be funded with tax dollars, the region’s non-airport users will also be provided the opportunity to comment.
Authorized users and emergency services (including medi-vas, fire and ambulance) have airside access via the main gate at all times.
Vehicles on the airside of the airport are permitted with the permission of the Airport Manager. This is in accordance with Canadian Aviation Regulation section 301.08. Vehicles on the airside must be there for an aviation purpose such as unloading a plane or to access a hanger if it is not feasible from to access from non-airside. Fueling up a vehicle is an example of a non-aviation purpose and is not being permitted.
The Town recognizes contacting the Airport Manager for each occurrence is cumbersome and the manager may not always be available. The Town is drafting a procedure to allow continuous permission for those who need to consistently be airside. While this will not be a formal Airside Vehicle Operator’s Permit program like that required at a certified airport but similar. This will ensure the required access for users and that the vehicle operator is familiar with airside procedures.
Aerobatic flying above 2,000 feet in the box has not changed and is permitted. Aerobatic flying below 2,000 feet is being reviewed by staff and in consultation with Transport Canada. A report is being drafted exploring various options and the implications of each option. As no other airport in Canada appears to permit low-level aerobatics practice over their airport that could provide guidance, this research and report will take time.
As Canadian Airport Regulations Section 602.96(4) prohibits any aircraft to fly under 2,000 feet over an aerodrome except for the purpose of landing and takeoff and Section 602.96(5) does not list aerobatic flying operations as an allowable purpose, no aerobatic flying below 2,000 feet is permitted at this time.
Once this report has been completed and reviewed by Clearwater County, it will be distributed to all airport users for review. As the Airport Certificate Holder, it will be up to the Town to make the final decision on this matter.
The Town thanks everyone who has shown cooperation and a willingness to work together through the changes at the airport in the last couple of months. This letter is the result of one of those persons who suggested that rumours and uncertainty needed clarification by a formal response. We thank you for that suggestion and have decided that a monthly newsletter/web posting on the airport would be beneficial to ensure everyone has a reliable source of information.
The Town is committed to operate a safe and viable airport that benefits all users. We look forward to working closely with the users and considering new ideas that users may bring forward.
Chief Administrative Officer
Town of Rocky Mountain House