Letter: Lookie-loos fly by ‘at deck level’

A new tourist season has begun, and with it another season of abusive peeping-tom air service…

To the editor:

Re: Low-flying Helicopters Noisy, Dangerous, March 25 Kelowna Capital News letter to the editor.

As I was finishing the Friday edition of your paper, another aircraft passed by my home within a stones throw at deck level. A new tourist season has begun, and with it another season of abusive peeping-tom air service provided by [a local helicopter company]. Based at the Delta Okanagan Grand Hotel, this ‘service’ provides tourists with an up-close view of lake shore homes. Local helicopter businesses do the same, with slow-motion sideways passes along the shoreline to facilitate photographs.

Complaints to the businesses involved are ignored. Management at the Delta Grand Hotel refuse to acknowledge the issue. They are quite comfortable profiting from the rental of their dock to the culprits. Noise bylaw complaints to city hall go unheeded. The airport authority has no jurisdiction outside its air zone. Air transport is not the responsibility of the provincial government. The federal government coordinates complaints of this nature through the Civil Aviation Issues Reporting System (CAIRS). My experience following multiple complaints has confirmed the absolutely useless nature of the process. A complaint filed with our former Conservative MP was equally useless. I have not yet contacted our newly elected MP.

I would encourage all those affected by abusive aircraft services to:

1) boycott the hotel, and tell them why in writing

2) request your city council consider revoking or restricting the business license of those responsible

3) file a complaint with our new MP.

Thank you for considering the publication of this letter. If you would like a video sample of the abusive behaviour of these aircraft, I have plenty of footage.

Francois Thériault, Kelowna


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