Friday, October 31, 2008

Transport problems strike the Northcoast

Once again, another sad story of the poor transport system strikes the news wire. How many times does this need to happen? Why north bound goods going south bound? Why should coastal Labrador communities pay the price for this sort of poor transport management. This can be addressed in oh so many ways. Yet as some point out, the high cost of freight never seems to inflict alcohol sales. Why is that? This postal food subsidy needs to be re-thought out. The method of delivery should be changed. The wholesalers providing goods should be organized better. Yet another year, and again I hear people complaining of quality of goods in the Northern stores, and ones run by local folks. This is really not their fault. The owners seem as flummoxed just as much as anyone else. The stuff being brought to our shores is below grade. And the method of delivery shares much of the blame. What can be done? How should we solve a problem the government can't? By demanding a well reasoned solution. By taking advantage of all ready existing programs. By engaging our local government. This can be done. This can bring jobs to coastal Labrador. This can help move our goods out for sale. This can bring tourist to our shores. There is little need for years of study. We need to try things not considered in the recent conventions of thinking.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Planning for tourism and making it happen

Looking from outside of Labrador from the standpoint of a potential tourist, things are very unclear. Yes you can go online and find a bit here or there. So if one is inclined to do the research!!!!! Well that's it isn't it. Being a self reliant peoples, we probably tend to think everyone else is too. Why should "Those people" do all of that work when other regions make it easier for them? And that's not something to argue about, it's a statement of fact. This really is not about competing with each other either. In fact if you look about, it requires teamwork. Attitudes of someone in Labrador saying what goes on in other communities does not concern them are the problem. We need all the assets and talents we can get. We want hotel and tour operators to flourish. We have to have viable and reliable freight and passenger service to get them here. So what if the trans-labrador is not a Super Highway? Do you think someone wants to come here for something they see everyday? Embrace it and do the best with it I say. By god it's part of the Adventure if you think about.

So what should be done then? Well let's look at that for a while. Can you think of going online and finding a website about a beautiful place. It opens up with with a choice of speeds(saddly not everyone is highspeed). That's important as you probably have a limited time to get info to that person. But from there you see a selection of images of beautiful scenes. You have links in those scenes. They take you to information displayed by those people who know it best. The people who live there. Here those people will give them a taste of what it's like to experience it. Here you will also find the places they can stay at, and the people to guide them. To their delight, they can also find out if there is room at the inn so to say. Or if Guide John has spots open on his tour. Perhaps pricing if the operators prefer.

Well that's good, but how will they get here? Well how about an "Explore getting there" link as well. You can bet your last dollar that Travel Agent Steve or Boat Captain Pete or Pilot Bob want the seats full. They are going to go where the money is. And the money wants to go see you. The old, "not financially feasible" response goes flying out the window. Instead, those fellas will probably welcome the income. Or become dinosaurs if they like, and do not adapt to patterns "We" create. By "we" I mean you living in Labrador communities. But they are part of the team too. We need them to succeed. We even need the freight handlers to succeed.

Still have doubts? I would too. Not up to building websites? Don't have a good computer? Still waiting for reports due in 2015? Sorry, I'm not buying all of it. What if there was a corportation that dealt in only managing it all? One that derived it's income off of that tourist fella with all the money. Not you the hard working Labradorian. One that could build it's own network of servers, intergrating with you out there, either with a software package, or alternatively a computer at cost. Then they employed a seasonal person in your town to talk to YOU and your community. That employee would take info and photos and return it to the company. The company would then build your part of the web based on your info. It's even possible that the seasonal employee could have the computer, and they could consult you and deliver updates and availabilities daily.

This would do a few things. First it makes it easier for you to become visible. It would also give invaluable info on real problems on how they relate to real demand. This allows justifaction for addressal of a solvable problem. A transport operator could take that to the bank literally. A hotel could show why it needs expansion. An adventure operator has documents supporting getting a new atv. They could capture more income if they get that loan. They have proof. You now have ammunition to hand to political figures. Suddenly the problem has problems, it might get solved.

The company could also offer a forum for discussion as well. And software to make daily tasks easier. After all, the company will not survive if the operators do not see improvement. This is highly doable.
I've been reading the 2005 report on a new Southern Labrador Airport in Port Hope Simpson. Here's the final Summary:

The current runway at Port Hope Simpson was assessed for operational effectiveness. Terrain
obstacles in the vicinity are troublesome, resulting in relatively high approach limits and circling
restrictions. The terrain conditions also prevent certification to a status better than non-instrument.
Should an alternative site be available where the effects of terrain obstacles are lessened,
accessibility would be considerably improved. Installation of good navigational aids and an enhanced
lighting configuration, as recommended, would result in a very effective airport, available at most
times in day/night IFR conditions.


So basically they are saying expanding the current runway would be impractical. I have not found anything more about current plans. It seems though they only evaluted the airport in terms of currently operating aircraft in the area. They did not explore other existant aircraft that could potentially operate from that length of field. Technically it is also possible to find rather large aircraft that also could land there. But aside from widening the field and improving it's ability to hold the additional weight, it would probably be a daunting task given the terrain. However when looking at a new field, that type of aircraft could dramatically lessen the cost of installing a new field. But a 900 meter field would cost quite less. The aircraft, the Ukrainian AN-70 regularly carries 20 ton loads off of 600 meter strips. That would also allow easier handling of other local types as well. This would also be a useful field for AN-38's or BE-32's or Chinese Twin Panadas. Each type would be of far more use then the current fleet.