North

City access road will mean we can't fly, says Whitehorse helicopter company

'We didn't actually learn of that until a month and a half ago, that that would restrict being able to approach and take off from their property,' says Whitehorse's director of infrastructure and operations.

Canadian regulations stipulate helicopters must remain at least 300 metres above roadways

Trans North Helicopters says a proposed access road to the city's new operations building cuts too close to its property off Range Road. (Google)

A Whitehorse-based helicopter company says the city's plans for a new access road will put its operations in jeopardy.

Trans North Helicopters says a proposed access road to the city's new operations building cuts too close to its property off Range Road.

It would mean that helicopters couldn't take off or land without breaching Transport Canada's Canadian Aviation Regulations. They stipulate that helicopters must remain a minimum of 300 metres above road traffic. 

Trans North's general manager says the company has two options.

"One of them is to sell off the northern section of our land, so they can cut that road straight across between us and Northwestel, or we move — that's it," James Rose says.

"There is nothing else we can do. If they say no to that deal, it's over for us." 

The city says it wasn't aware of the rules when it started making plans for the access road, which would be used for buses and heavy equipment.

Peter O'Blenes, Whitehorse's director of infrastructure and operations, said the city is open to options. (Mike Rudyk)

The city's new operations building is just north of the airport, adjacent to Trans North. 

"We didn't actually learn of that until a month and a half ago, that that would restrict being able to approach and take off from their property," says Peter O'Blenes, Whitehorse's director of infrastructure and operations.

O'Blenes says it's not the city's intent to force the closure of a company that's been around for 50 years.

And he says the city is willing to look at all options. 

With files from Mike Rudyk

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.