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NORAD Flying Military Jets Fly Low Over Cortes Island, BC to Make Skies "Safe" For Olympics

The RCMP have enlisted the North American Aerospace Command (NORAD)  for military support during the Olympics and during what has been christened Operation Podium formed to defend the skies leading up to and during the Olympics, NORAD has been hard at work, training their officers –right over the residential area on Cortes Island. Frustrated at this disturbance, island resident, David Shipway took initiative and contacted the Air Force. He copied the Vancouver Observer with the correspondence:

Dear 19Wing Commander,

Recent sorties by F18's over Cortes Island ( Jan 24-27) have had
noticeable effects on local inhabitants, livestock and wildlife. I
suggest to you that it is utterly inappropriate for pilots to do these
kinds of low-level training or fuel-quota-burning missions over
residential areas.

David Shipway
Cortes Island


The Response:

Mr. Shipway,

I'm Lieutenant (Navy) David Lavallee, the public affairs officer for the Air Force and NORAD during Operation PODIUM, which is the overall military support for the RCMP on Olympic security.

My colleague Capt. Alex Cadieux at 19 Wing Comox contacted me and mentioned you had some concerns about low-flying aircraft in your area of Cortez Island--in particular, CF-18s.

The CF-18 Hornets are here under NORAD to provide airspace security for the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. This past week, they were conducting training flights over Vancouver Island and the lower mainland of British Columbia.

I can appreciate that the aircraft are loud, and the resulting noise can be an irritant. The flying these and other aircraft are conducting is necessary in helping us accomplish our mission of helping the RCMP keep the Olympics safe and secure, and I assure you that our aircrews do everything they can to conduct their operations with minimal impact to local residents.

Thank you for contacting us with your concerns. If you have any additional questions, please don't hesitate to contact me.


David Lavallee 
Lieutenant (Navy) | Lieutenant de vaisseau 
Public Affairs Officer | Officier des affaires publiques 
Air Component Command - Joint Task Force Games/Canadian NORAD Region | Commandement de la composante aérienne - Force opérationnelle interarmées Jeux/Région canadienne du NORAD
National Defence | Défense nationale 
[email protected] 
Telephone | Téléphone 604-204-7240 
Cell (National Defence) | Cellulaire (Défense nationale) 204-471-5222 
Government of Canada | Gouvernement du Canada 

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