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Published on Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Mayor calls 'super hub' airport an urgent noise concern

By 2037, the GTAA estimates 85 million passengers will use Toronto Pearson

Mayor calls 'super hub' airport an urgent noise concern
Photo by Metroland
An Air Canada A320 making excess noise over Oakville
By Marta Marychuk, Oakville Beaver

Oakville Mayor Rob Burton is calling for additional measures to reduce aircraft noise, in response to the Greater Toronto Airports Authority’s (GTAA) updated Five-Year Noise Management Plan.

“We remain concerned airplanes descend too soon, fly too low and fly too slow,” said Burton. “These factors, on their own, and collectively, have the effect of increasing noise impacts on our community.”

“This is urgent,” said Burton.

The GTAA, the nonprofit organization that runs Toronto Pearson International Airport, released the updated plan Wednesday, Dec. 6.

Burton, along with north Oakville Couns. Jeff Knoll (Ward 5), Allan Elgar and Roger Lapworth (Ward 4) and Tom Adams (Ward 6), who are members of the Mayor’s Advisory Group (MAG) on aircraft traffic and noise, held a news conference at Oakville Town Hall Monday, Dec. 11, to voice their concerns.

Toronto Pearson is the second busiest airport in North America for international passengers and is poised to become even larger — with plans to become a super-hub airport.

By 2037, the GTAA estimates 85 million passengers will use Toronto Pearson.

“That super hub is going to be super noisy,” Burton said.

There has been a flurry of reports, Knoll added, including the Independent Toronto Airspace Review by Helios Consulting, which was made public in November, and outlines a number of recommendations to mitigate noise.

Knoll said upon review of the GTAA’s updated action plan, a number of measures, in combination, could reduce aircraft noise in Oakville.

These include: further restrictions in night time operations; implementing recommendations in the Helios noise mitigation report; retrofitting Air Canada’s A 320 airbus planes to reduce noise; and; make Toronto Pearson’s community environment and noise advisory committee (CENAC) a true advisory committee, with opportunities for direct input to the GTAA board.

“There is no grand slam concept to fixing this problem,” said Knoll, who chaired MAG on aircraft traffic and noise. But a lot more has to be done — and it needs to be done faster.

Nav Canada, a privately run, nonprofit corporation that owns and operates Canada’s civil air navigation system, hired Helios to identify ways to mitigate noise from aircraft operations.

Air traffic noise first began to become a problem for Oakville in 2012, when Nav Canada made changes to the flight paths for airplanes using the Windsor-Toronto-Montreal corridor.

The changes were made to meet International Civil Aviation Organization standards that ensure aircraft heading away from an airport have enough room to turn back onto final approach for landing.

The changes to Standard Terminal Arrival Routes at Toronto Pearson created new arrival procedures that require aircraft to fly at lower altitudes and slower speeds when approaching. Aircraft are now required to begin descent procedures earlier.

Knoll said that although he is encouraged to see the GTAA’s plan, the fact remains the biggest aircraft noise factors relating to airborne operations, are under the jurisdiction of Nav Canada and Transport Canada.

“We need to be clear with our political friends, we really need actions,” Knoll added. “We need to see real work being done.”
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Author: Mayor Rob Burton

Categories: News

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