Letters to the Editor

A cold night at the airport

I recently arrived on a West Jet flight into Cranbrook airport around midnight from an extended holiday. For 19 days, my parking at the airport was $152 which is similar to the amount one would pay at most western Canadian airports. After arriving, collecting my baggage and going out to the car, I found that my battery was dead.

If it had not been for the kindness of the airport security guard, Wayne, we would have been left out in the cold on a January night. He attempted to jump start our car, helped us call a tow truck, and refused to leave us waiting out in the cold until the tow truck arrived and got us going. I would like to express my gratitude to his dedication to making sure that we were able to safely leave the airport, long after the airport officially closed. As I understand, he quite regularly stays late to help other airport customers, all this without accepting any gratuity nor extra pay from the airport.

It would sure be nice to see Cranbrook airport provide service to customers such as car plug ins for extended stays or at least some form of guarantee that customers will not be left outside on a cold winter’s night. We are certainly expected to pay for service with the current parking rates and have little control over the arrival times of our flights. If it had not been for the kindness and concern of this airport security guard my wife and I would have been left out in the cold, outside of a locked up airport. If you expect to act as a regional airport to out of town customers, it only a matter of time before someone is abandoned there with no service resulting in an even more unfortunate outcome.

Al Gribbin

Re: Idling Engines

In response to A. Calman’s Letter to the Editor Wednesday, Jan. 8.

For those of us who cannot afford an electric vehicle and don’t have a garage, idling our vehicles for up to 20 minutes on cold winter mornings is standard practice. People don’t do this to warm their engines but to defrost their vehicle’s windows and warm the interior. I cannot imagine how much CO2 this produces daily, for the three to four months of winter we have in Canada.

What if we could totally eliminate that idling time and reduce carbon emissions by literally tonnes each year for approximately $100 per vehicle?

All it takes is an interior car warmer, timer and extension cord. Most people probably already own an exterior extension cord and possibly a timer as well to plug in their block heaters. Not only do these interior warmers eliminate idling time, they save dollars on fuel by using cents’ worth of electricity.

And, bonus, they totally eliminate the need to scrape your windows clear of frost, freezing rain and/or snow, while leaving your vehicle toasty warm inside and ready to go!

I have been using an interior car warmer each winter for more than 15 years. I plug the timer into the extension cord, along with the interior car warmer and block heater cord, then into an exterior electrical outlet, and set it to come on for two hours when the temperature is expected to reach -10°C or lower overnight. Forecasted -15 – 20° C or lower needs approximately four hours. When you’re ready to head out your car is defrosted and cozy warm.

As mentioned above, they don’t use much electricity to operate so homeowners will not see a huge difference in their hydro bill, which will be totally offset by the savings in the amount of fuel used to idle vehicles. They’re available at most stores that sell automotive parts/accessories and are well worth the money.

Betty Roper/Cranbrook

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