HNZ helicopter official cautiously optimistic

A helicopter official is hopeful after talking to government officials

Cautiously optimistic is how general manager Dave Schwartzenberger the HNZ Topflight helicopter training centre is describing his outlook after meeting with provincial and federal government officials the day before Friday’s national park announcement.

“I was happy to hear (Federal Environment) Minister McKenna’s acknowledgement of the helicopter in her speech, I think the interest is there and they know its important but it’s just the process that we’re still concerned about,” said Schwartzenberger, who also attended Friday’s announcement at the Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre in Osoyoos. “The meeting (Thursday) was good we talked and they want to have us at the table which is encouraging but I think the biggest thing is that it allowed us the opportunity to bring all our points across.”

Both McKenna and B.C. Environment Minister George Heyman specifically made reference to helicopter use in the park area as being important.

However according to Schwartzenberger he did not receive any promises at this stage of the process.

“They just listened and obviously they’re not in a position to do anything. All they told us was this park is going to happen because of the cooperation between the Okanagan Nation Alliance and the BC government and the federal government.

“Process is starting again we’re all at the table and we want to make sure you’re included at the table.”

The company has required a government permit to operate within park boundaries, provincially since 2001 and Schwartzenberger says HNZ is continually being “squeezed” out of what they had been able to do traditionally for the past half century.

“It’s hard for us to move ahead without assurances from both levels.” he said. “Even if they give us a permit we need very clear and very precise answers.”

 

An HNZ Topflight helicopter on Snowy Mountain. The company is hoping the government will allow continued training when the new national park is established. Submitted photo

Just Posted

City of Penticton park policy changes approved

The policy includes engagement with the community

Okanagan Medicinal Cannabis Conference coming to Penticton

A variety of topics presented by certified herbalists and a medical doctor

Penticton Indian Band ‘knocking on doors’ of feds for addictions relief

Penticton Indian Band will also focus on community efforts to alleviate overdose crisis locally

Vehicle fire quickly doused

Penticton Fire Department were dispatched to a vehicle fire

Injured mountain biker airlifted to hospital in Kelowna

A mountain biker spent the night with rescuers after suffering injuries

Unfiltered: IPAs explained with Cannery Brewing brewmaster

Checking out the new IPA created by Penticton brewery Cannery Brewing Company

Port of Prince Rupert names Shaun Stevenson as new CEO

Stevenson has worked for the port for 21 years as vice president of trade development

Senate officially passes Canada’s marijuana legalization bill

Bill C-45 now moves to royal assent, which is the final step in the legislative process

Fake attempted abduction not funny to B.C. neighbourhood residents

Two teenage boys won’t face criminal charges after scaring girl

Mosquitoes out in full force already? Blame the weather

But a B.C. mosquito expert says the heat wave will help keep the pests at bay

Man pleads not guilty in 1987 slayings of B.C. couple

William Talbott of SeaTac was arraigned Tuesday in Snohomish County Superior Court

New GOP plan: Hold kids longer at border – but with parents

Move would ease rules that limit how much time minors can be held with their parents

Without a big data strategy, Canadians at risk of being ‘data cows’

Presentation said artificial intelligence could give Facebook and Amazon even more power

Most Read