Helicopter traffic looms near Dodge Cove: Nobels

Skeena-Queen Charlotte Regional District (SQCRD) director Des Nobels noted an increased level of helicopter activity over Dodge Cove.

SQCRD director Des Nobels noted an increase in helicopter traffic at a recent meeting.

SQCRD director Des Nobels noted an increase in helicopter traffic at a recent meeting.

Skeena-Queen Charlotte Regional District (SQCRD) director Des Nobels noted an increased level of helicopter activity over Dodge Cove by workers surveying land proposed for an LNG export facility by Aurora LNG, he stated at a recent SQCRD board meeting.

The director said that for the duration of 12 daytime hours, seven days a week, multiple helicopters have been flying over and behind the community to perform preliminary research and drilling operations.

And while the company bought the land to explore the feasibility of placing a terminal on Digby Island, Nobels said the proximity to the landing pads is causing a summer-time stir for residents.

“It’s been extremely disturbing. We’ve had a number of people who have made a very great effort in getting off the island as much as they can,” said the director.

“We haven’t had as many get-togethers as we normally do because people just aren’t outside as much.”

Nobels said that while the sound is prevalent, a trembling sensation can be felt for Dodge Cove residents (totalling approximately 30 with recent census numbers).

“If you’re close enough, it’s felt on the body. It’s not just the sound. It’s the physical awareness as well. That whomp-whomp-whomp. It’s fairly significant, and really distracting.”

However, project officials with Aurora LNG state that helicopters do not expressly fly over the community and pilots were told to avoid the area.

“Aurora LNG’s established helicopter traffic routes do not travel directly over Dodge Cove. We have instructed the helicopter pilots conducting the flights associated with the Aurora LNG project to make it a priority to avoid the Dodge Cove airspace as much as possible,” said Andrew Hamilton, Aurora LNG general manager.

“We have also periodically altered our flight paths and ceased helicopter operations on request from the Dodge Cove community.”

Hamilton explained that not all helicopter traffic is associated with the project, as multiple flights take place to and from Prince Rupert Airport on Digby Island.

“The closest helicopter landing to Dodge Cove that has occurred to date was approximately half a kilometre away and on the other side of Mount Comblain,” he said.

Project encroachment

The regional district (SQCRD) also sent a letter to Aurora LNG officials notifying them of an encroachment of part of its project onto lands included in the Dodge Cove Official Community Plan (OCP) boundaries. The area is located at the northern part of Aurora’s “Area of Interest” and west of Dodge Cove.

“This is of particular concern to the SQCRD, and residents of Dodge Cove, given the close proximity of the proposed Aurora LNG Project footprint to the community’s watershed, an environmentally sensitive area identified in the Official Community Plan of Dodge Cove Bylaw No. 199, 1989,” wrote Doug Chapman, SQCRD chief administrative officer in the letter.

Hamilton confirmed that Aurora has been in contact regarding the land, and that the company isn’t required to seek an amendment to the bylaw.

“The proposed Aurora LNG project is operating under an approved Investigative License of Occupation (ILO) which authorizes our activities during the investigative phase that our project is currently in. During this phase, Aurora LNG is not required to seek an amendment to the bylaw. This has been confirmed by a board member of the [SQCRD],” said Hamilton.

Director Nobels also made a motion to remind the province and other regional districts and municipalities to make sure that they check their own boundaries and ensure that proposed projects don’t encroach into OCP boundaries.

“They should be looking at any boundaries in existence in their permitting area, so they have to do their due diligence as well. They can’t just hand it off to us [or] the companies. The province actually has to be involved in the process, seeing as they’re the ones issuing the permits,” said Nobels.

 

Just Posted

Nic Pirillo received $1,000 Youth WORK Apprenticeship Award presented to him by Erik Brooke and Catlin Chandler of Broadwater Industries, in front of the boat Pirillo built in his free time using newly acquired skills. (Photo: supplied)
Learning and earning with apprenticeship

Nic Pirillo graduated in 2020 and was awarded the Youth WORK Trades award

According to the BC Centre of Disease Control epidemiology mapping from May 30 to June 5, there was an increase of one case in the Prince Rupert area after a three-week stability of no new cases. (Image: supplied BC CDC)
Prince Rupert second dose vaccination clinic to run from June 14 to July 9

Volunteers needed for P.R. immunization clinic, recipients must register and cases back up to one

Capt. Portugal was getting into the festive spirit out working for the City of Prince Rupert and celebrating Seafest 2021, on June 12. During regular business hours Capt. Portugal is known as David Costa. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Searching out fun in the sun for Seafest 44

Families and friends can participate in weekend COVID-19 friendly activities

Seafest is underway with a sunfest theme from June 11 to 13 in Prince Rupert. Alex Hoogendorn vice president of Prince Rupert Special Events is creating sunny times making feature for the decorating contest with his son Caleb Hoogendorn on June 4. (K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Seafest 44 plans a sunfest June 11 to 13 in Prince Rupert

All events in festival are COVID-19 safe, social distancing and health protocols approved by N.H.A.

Relay for Life will be held virtually on June 12. Donations and registered teams are decreased in numbers this year, but there is still time to register. Cancer survivors, Isaac Mastroianni and his dad Mark Mastroianni, wear their Canadian Cancer Society Relay for Life survivors shirts. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
A lifeline for many, Relay for Life now needs community support

Prince Rupert is one of just four cities in B.C. with teams registered the June 12 event

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials watching U.K.’s Delta variant struggles, ‘may need to slow’ restart plan

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton is shown in this undated handout photo. RCMP say that Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over on Saturday morning in Wolseley, east of Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP
Pair charged in Saskatchewan Mountie’s death make first court appearance

Const. Shelby Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over Saturday morning

David and Collet Stephan leave for a break during an appeal hearing in Calgary on Thursday, March 9, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Appeal Court rejects stay for Alberta couple facing third trial in son’s death

Pair accused in their earlier trials of not seeking medical attention for their son sooner

Highway notices like this come down effective June 14. Public health restrictions on non-essential travel and commercial operation have hit local businesses in every corner of B.C. (B.C. government)
Province-wide travel back on in B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan

Gathering changes include up to 50 people for outdoor events

Calgary Stampeders’ Jerome Messam leaps over a tackle during second half CFL western semifinal football action in Calgary, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
CFL football will be played this summer in Canada

Governors vote unanimously in favour to start the ‘21 campaign on Aug. 5

Citizenship Minister Marco Mendicino holds a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020. The federal government is announcing that Indigenous people can now apply to reclaim their names on passports and other government documents. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous people can now reclaim traditional names on their passports and other ID

Announcement applies to all individuals of First Nations, Inuit and Métis background

Harvesting hay in the Fraser Valley. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
COVID-19: B.C. waives farm income requirement for a second year

Property owners don’t need minimum income for 2022 taxes

Cruise ship passengers arrive at Juneau, Alaska in 2018. Cruise lines have begun booking passengers for trips from Seattle to Alaska as early as this July, bypassing B.C. ports that are not allowed to have visitors until March 2022 under a Canadian COVID-19 restrictions. (Michael Penn/Juneau Empire)
B.C. doesn’t depend on U.S. law to attract cruise ships, Horgan says

Provinces to get update next week on Canada’s border closure

Most Read