BY SCOTT CARMICHAEL
Staff A Rogers Communications representative feels the company has done its homework in regards to a 68-metre cellphone tower it plans to erect on Airport Road in Summerstown.
“The search area was provided to me in February 2018 with a request to secure space for a 90-metre to 100-metre guyed tower,” Eric Belchamber, a site acquisition specialist with the communications giant, told council March 4. “I reviewed the surrounding land uses and parcel ownership, observed the nearby Cornwall Regional Airport and contacted them to get information about height restrictions and aviation safety in general.”
Mr. Belchamber also conversed with Charles Cormier, an aviation consultant who “works closely with the (Cornwall Regional) Airport,”and who “was instrumental in providing feedback regarding both the proposed location and cell tower height restrictions in place due to the airport.”
Mr. Cormier had “re-assessed all (height restrictions and aviation safety factors) with a 70-metre tower,” and that the “RNAV (area navigation)...and (pilot) circling options for both approaches would not be affected.”
Two citizens have concerns about the proposed tower which Rogers plans to put up near Fraser Road and Highway 401, near the airport. Earle DePass, of St. Andrew’s West, a civil aviation safety inspector with Transport Canada and an avid pilot, pleaded with council to “move the tower farther away because it causes a great safety concern” for pilots. Jean-Claude (J.C.) Audet, a fellow aviator and director of operations for the Ottawa-based Canadian Owners and Pilots Association (COPA), said the tower’s proposed location “is way too close to the airport,” and “creates a lot of risks for pilots.”
Mr. Belchamber said the necessary “aeronautical assessment documents required by Transport Canada and NAV Canada” were submitted for their review last fall, and that neither agency had reservations about the tower project. Transport Canada stated that the structure would require both daytime and nighttime lighting – a requirement with which Rogers has said it will comply with– while NAV Canada “indicated that they have no objections to the facility as proposed.”
Mr. Belchamber said moving the tower would have major repercussions for local cellphone customers. “The cell network is an intricate puzzle and if the site were to be put too far away, there would be the following issues: area(s) of coverage overlap, area(s) with poor coverage, and the requirement for additional tower(s),” he said.
Last June, council approved a request from Rogers Communications to lease the approximately 675-square metre piece of property in Summerstown on which Rogers would erect the tower.
General manager of infrastructure services Ewen MacDonald has said the tower “would provide enhanced high speed wireless communications coverage in an area that is otherwise currently underserved.”
MOVIES FOR GUIDES: The Nutt siblings from Alexandria, Catie, 4, Marty, 6, Adie, 8, and Macky, 2, and their mother, Cassie Depratto Nutt, attended a movie day Saturday to benefit the Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides. The event was organized by Pet Valu.