Public Statement for the Strategic Environmental Assessment of The Future Aircrew Training Program (FAcT)

Summary Description of the Proposal

The Department of National Defence (DND) is renewing its existing aircrew training programs for the delivery of pilot training, as well as aircrew training for Air Combat Systems Officers and Airborne Electronic Sensor Operators. This new program will be known as the Future Aircrew Training Program (FAcT).

Through a competitive procurement process, Canada will award one contract to a single prime contractor, responsible for integrating all services under a performance based contract.

To enable the delivery of the training services, the contractor will be responsible for the provision of aircraft, simulators, classroom training systems, civilian instructors, infrastructure, as well as other essential services such as aircraft and airfield maintenance, facilities maintenance, accommodation and food services.

The contract period is expected to be 20 plus years.

The training services will continue to take place at the following locations:

Key Findings regarding Environmental Risk / Effects

The incremental contributions of air pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions generated by FAcT Program activities are unlikely to measurably add to existing local and regional pollutant concentrations. Emissions of Ozone Depleting Substances (ODSs) are not expected to increase as Government of Canada regulations require the phase down in the manufacture and sale of ODSs and prohibits the use of ODSs. DND is committed to comply with these regulations. Taking into consideration the implementation of a variety of mitigation and Best Management Practices (BMPs), fugitive dust levels from construction and demolition activities should not be a nuisance to site neighbours.

FAcT Program activities will continue to contribute to elevated noise levels near the three training sites into the foreseeable future similar to current conditions, but because the FAcT Program will not result in a substantial increase in the frequency and intensity of training activities at each training site, its contribution to ambient daytime noise levels relative to other sources is likely to remain steady or decrease over time as development near the training sites increases. In contrast, FAcT Program activities are likely to be a substantial contributor to ambient night-time noise levels relative to other sources at each of the three training sites, including off-site flight routes and helicopter hovering/landing sites. Implementation of BMPs for night-time training activities is likely to result in minor adverse noise effects on sensitive receptors on-site and off-site. Construction or demolition noise is likely to be temporary and highly localized. Implementation of BMPs for noise control during construction and demolition activities is likely to result in minor adverse noise effects on sensitive receptors on-site and off-site.

Taking into consideration the implementation of a variety of mitigation and BMPs for vegetation and wildlife management, construction and demolition activities are not expected to result in changes in populations of Species at Risk or migratory birds. Activities that result in the direct removal of habitat, harassment and bird mortality for resident and migrating individuals are to be avoided to the greatest extent. Daytime and night-time airfield operations and movement of small aircraft, helicopters and jets will result in increased risk of bird mortality due to air strike. Other airfield operations and maintenance activities, general property maintenance may result in low severity impacts to Species at Risks and migratory birds. Airfield management of priority species that result in harassment or mortality may be of moderate to extreme severity for Species at Risk and migratory birds.

Effects on vegetation and the risk of the spread of invasive species during construction and demolition activities at the three training sites are not expected to be significant with the application of BMPs.

The environmental effects of the FAcT program affecting local and indigenous communities will be addressed through ongoing discussions.

Key Findings regarding Environmental Opportunities

Over the duration of the contract, the FAcT Program can take advantage of several opportunities to achieve improvements to current practices and the environmental performance at the three training sites under the FAcT Program. These opportunities include:

Alignment with Government of Canada and Departmental Sustainability Goals and Targets

The FAcT Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) concludes that the FAcT Program is not expected to substantially hinder the achievement of the Government of Canada's or DND's sustainability goals or targets. The SEA has identified several opportunities and makes several recommendations that, if implemented over the duration of the contract duration, could result in improvements to current practices and the environmental performance at the three FAcT Program training sites.

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