Last time

More tree cutting at Pitt Meadows airport

Even service poles near the runway have even been trimmed by B.C. Hydro.

There will be more trees cut or topped in the name of safety at Pitt Meadows Regional Airport.

Elvio Pecchia, airport manager, appeared before council Tuesday, displaying maps covered with dozens of red dots – each representing trees considered hazardous.

Pecchia explained the trees “infringe on our obstacle limitation zone,” and the airport manager is required by regulations to ensure trees removed or topped.

He noted that even service poles near the runway have even been trimmed by B.C. Hydro, at the request of the airport.

The last tree-trimming exercise, along the Fraser River near the airport’s main entrance, angered area residents, who called it a clear-cut, and questioned whether it was necessary.

Pitt Meadows Mayor John Becker noted that the city has “no say” about the tree removal, but asked Pecchia what authorization the airport needs to cut trees.

The YPK manager answered that he informs the city, dike inspector, and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, as best practices, but added, “Essentially, we have the authority to take them down.”

Coun. Tracy Miyashita noted that she has never seen so much tree trimming at the airport on her time on council, and asked whether there is a new policy or standard?

“It’s definitely not a new regulation,” Pecchia answered.

Miyashita asked whether any parts of the warehouses being constructed by Onni in South Bonson are in the obstacle zone.

The airport manager said he had the plans surveyed to ensure there were no obstacles due to building heights.

Coun. Bill Dingwall also questioned the sudden need to remove so many trees.

“Trees don’t grow that fast. Why the urgency?”

He also noted that many of the trees considered hazardous are not directly in the flight path to the runway.

Pecchia responded that many of the trees should have been dealt with years ago. He said the majority are cottonwoods, which he called “technically a weed,” in that they grow fast, can grow anywhere, grow in angle directions and break as they get older.

A professional aviation engineer has done the analysis of which trees need to be removed, he added.

Council allowed questions from audience members who came for the presentation.

Patricia Gordon asked about birds nesting in  trees before cutting, noting there were osprey and eagles nests that need to be protected.

Pecchia said he hired an environmental firm to assess the area, and ensure the tree removal would not harm wildlife. Based on its recommendations, removal of trees was staggered two months, in consideration of wildlife.

He said there is no intent to clear-cut, rather the airport has identified and isolated each tree that will be cut or trimmed.

Coun. Janis Elkerton noted that in 23 years on council it was the first time the airport has made a presentation about tree management, and suggested that community members who live near the airport be on airport committees to improve communication.

 

Just Posted

Ridge Jr. B Flames making additions

Four players sign, two coaches join mix.

UPDATE: Two-vehicle incident on Abernethy Way, Maple Ridge

Road near 227th Street reopens in both directions.

Maple Ridge elementary protest to protect against climate change

Grade 7 Albion students march in front of municipal hall.

Maple Ridge teacher celebrated as inclusive education champion

Carissa Keenan teaches at Harry Hooge elementary.

Haney Rotary ups bursary amounts

Total is $19,000 this year, up from $11,000 in 2018.

New airline regulations bring compensation for tarmac delays, over-bookings

Some of the new regulations will roll out in July, while others are expected for December.

Burnaby facility to dispose of 1,500 tonnes of Canada’s trash from Philippines

All 103 containers will be disposed of properly within Canada before the end of the summer

Scheer says it would take Conservatives five years to balance budget

Scheeraccused the Liberal government of spending $79.5 billion of previously unbudgeted funds

Man wants guilty plea revoked in 2012 collision in Abbotsford that killed Chilliwack woman

Michael Larocque was charged in relation to crash that killed Eileen Kleinfelder

High-risk sex offender released into Surrey

Earon Wayne Giles, a Newton “tag-team rapist,” was released from prison Friday and is now living in Surrey

Vancouver woman sexually assaulted after man follows her home; suspect at large

Police are looking for an Asian man in his 40s after the incident on Vancouver’s east side.

B.C. man, 30, arrested for driving his parents’ cars while impaired twice in one day

The Vancouver-area man was arrested after officers caught him driving impaired twice in one day

UPDATE: Vancouver man dies after crash between motorcycle, transport truck

Police believe speed was a factor in Thursday collision

Trial slated to start Monday for accused killer of Abbotsford cop

Oscar Arfmann faces first-degree murder for death of Const. John Davidson

Most Read