Beauty in brevity

Sometimes it’s hard to love the Canada Flight Supplement or its U.S. equivalent, the Airport and Facility Directory, printed on cheap, easy-to-rip newsprint in tiny smudged type, going out of date every seven weeks, and filled with abbreviations you have trouble remembering. Still, I was looking at the entry from Hearst, ON, where I’ll be flying for Hope Air next week (see this posting about my last trip), and I thought it might be interesting to see how the (very short) entry would look written out in proper English prose. First, a scan of the entry, with a link to a larger image:

CFS Hearst entry

Now, the same thing written out in proper English prose.

Hearst/René Fontaine Municipal Airport (ICAO code CYHF)


The Hearst airport is located at latitude 49 degrees 42 minutes 51 seconds north, longitude 83 degrees 41 minutes 10 seconds west, 1.5 nautical miles northwest of the town. The magnetic variation is nine degrees west, and the time zone is five hours behind UTC (four hours during daylight savings time). The elevation of the airfield is 827 feet above mean sea level. The airport appears in the AIR5008 Visual Navigation Chart (Thunder Bay), the E-18 World Aeronautical Chart, and the LO-4 low-altitude IFR enroute chart. It has at least one published instrument approach in the Canada Air Pilot.


The airport operator is the Corporation of the Town of Hearst, which can be reached by phone at (705) 362-4341. The airport can be reached directly at (705) 372-2842. The airport is certified by Transport Canada.

Public Facilities

The airport has a terminal building with telephone and taxi services available. Food, medical facilities, accomodation, and car rental are available within five nautical miles of the airport.

Flight Planning

NOTAMs for this airport are available in the NOTAM file CYHF. Flight planning services are available through the London Flight Information Centre at (866) WXBRIEF.


Services are available from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm local time (1400-2200z, 1300-2100z during daylight savings time) Monday to Friday. At other times, a callout charge may be levied for one or more services. 100 low lead avgas and Jet-A fuel are available, as well as all grades of engine oil. Airplane storage, services and minor repairs, long-term parking, airplane tie-downs, and airplane plug-ins are also available. The airport offers supplementary de-icing fluid and 1000/1500 amp jet starting units.

Runway Data

The airport has one runway surface, serving as runways 04 (magnetic heading 41 degrees) and 22 (magnetic heading 221 degrees). The surface is 4500 feet long, 100 feet wide, and paved with asphalt. Runway condition reports are available from the operator, and there is only limited winter maintenance.


Both runways 04 and 22 have flashing strobes serving as runway identification lights, together with green/red threshold and runway end lights and three-position, medium intensity edge lights. There is also PAPI approach path lighting at each end of the runway designed for an eye-to-wheel height of up to 10 feet. The pilot must key the microphone seven times within five seconds on the frequency 122.8 MHz to activate the runway lights. The pilot may then select the brightness by keying the microphone seven times for maximum brightness, five times for medium brightness, or three times for minimum brightness, also within five seconds.


The unmonitored aerodrome traffic frequency is 122.8 MHz. It is in effect for a five nautical mile radius up to 3800 feet above sea level.


The nearest navigation aid is the Hearst NDB, on the frequency 241 KHz broadcasting the Morse code identifier “HF”. It is a medium-power (50-2000 watt) transmitter located at latitude 49 degrees 40 minutes 2 seconds north, longitude 83 degrees 43 minutes 28 seconds west. From the NDB, the airport is 2.8 nautical miles on a magnetic track of 38 degrees.


Right-hand circuits are in effect for runway 22, in accordance with the Canadian Aviation Regulations, section 602.96.


There is a possibility of winter maintenance equipment on the runway outside of operational hours. There is also a possibility of wildlife on the runway. There is bird activity during the months of April to October.

That is a lot of information packed into a tiny space (and I left out the information printed on the diagram, including the safe altitudes around the airport). There is a certain ugly beauty about it. Now, if only I could remember all of those abbreviations …

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