Rogers re­sponds

The Glengarry News - - The Opinion Page - News

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.”

MAR­GARET CALDBICK PHOTO

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.

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