| Dec 21, 2006

Feature Article - December 2006

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December 21st 2006

Ompah helipadby Jeff Green---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Night time landings at the Ompah helipad are not dead.

A meeting was held at the Ompah helipad this past Monday, where North Frontenac Council was shown what is required for night landings by a representative from Canadian Helicopter, the contractor for air ambulance in the township.“We need to clear a 50 degree swath with an 8% incline for 800 feet in order for the pilots to be comfortable coming in for night landings,” said North Frontenac councillor Lonnie Watkins after the meeting.

The difference between this information and what was previously known is that the pathway can be in any direction.


When the township first heard that Canadian Helicopter was seeking improved visibility on the way in to the helipad, they thought that the only acceptable direction was the one that the helicopters have traditionally used to come in. The township tried to negotiate with the adjacent landowner to cut down trees on his property in order to make night landings possible, but the negotiations broke down earlier this year. Since then the township has been on the point of closing down the helipad entirely.

Armed with this new information, Mayor Ron Maguire appointed a task force to determine the best way to establish the necessary clearances for night landings to resume. The Task force, which is being chaired by Deputy Mayor Jim Beam, includes councilors Lonnie Watkins, Wayne Good, and community members Barbara Sproule, Norm Mills, and John Haw.

In the interim the helipad will remain open for daytime landings only, and the Tomvale airport near Fernleigh will be used at night.

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