In the 1980s the Whistler Question began posing a question to three to six people and publishing their responses under “Whistler’s Answers” (not to be confused with the Whistler Answer). Each week, we’ll be sharing one question and the answers given back in 1982. Please note, all names/answers/occupations/neighbourhoods represent information given to the Question at the time of publishing and do not necessarily reflect the person today.
Some context for this week’s question: The idea of a municipal airport was under discussion for much of the early 1980s, with various locations proposed. These locations included the Callaghan Valley and, most prominently in 1982, an area at the south end of Green Lake just west of the Mons overpass. As of today, Whistler does not have a tri-service airport facility; float planes are able to take off and land on Green Lake, and the nearest airport is in Pemberton.
Question: Do you think it’s necessary to have a tri-service airport facility at Whistler? If so, where should it be located?
Diane Eby – Airplane owner and former president of Whistler Ratepayers Association – Emerald Estates
Personally, I don’t see the absolute need for a tri-service facility, but then I’m not living down in the Gondola area with helicopters taking off all the time.
As for the location, I can’t see it at the Mons site the airport committee is now discussing. It’s very close to a residential area and there’s three big Hydro lines right there.
Eighty percent of the time the weather in Whistler isn’t suitable for flying anyways. It seems like we’re wasting a lot of taxpayer’s money when there’s already a facility 18 miles down the road in Pemberton.
Mike Jakobbson – Electrical contractor – Alpine Meadows
Sure, it would be handy to have a facility like that here. The point is, where are you going to put it?
I can’t see anywhere in Whistler where you could have it. The closest place is Pemberton.
It would be a definite asset to be able to bring in direct flights from Vancouver, but something like that is definitely in the future.
Are taxpayers going to pay for this? That’s another point. There’s enough burden on taxpayers right now without spending more money.
Mark Angus – Alderman, Chairman of the Airport Committee – Gondola Area
Yes, for safety reasons. We need to try and keep float planes off Alta Lake, which is more heavily used (than Green Lake) by windsurfers and swimmers.
We need to try and keep choppers out of populated areas, like the Gondola area and the Blackcomb benchlands which someday will be a residential/commercial area.
The Mons area is one site where we can put all three services in one spot.
If we were to build a small landing spot here – I hate to call it an airport – the spinoff in money would be good for the valley as a whole.