Tory wants feds to reduce aircraft noise over midtown Toronto
Chris Herhalt, CP24.com
Published Thursday, March 10, 2016 7:22AM EST
Last Updated Thursday, March 10, 2016 10:20AM EST
Toronto Mayor John Tory has written a letter to federal transport minister Marc Garneau asking for fewer passenger planes to fly over the city’s midtown area as they land and depart from Pearson International Airport.
In his letter, Tory says residents of Toronto’s Don Valley West Ward have met with their councillor, Jon Burnside, to complain of “unreasonable aircraft noise resulting from a change in a new, concentrated arrivals route.”
Tory cites a 2012 decision by NAV Canada, the private corporation that manages Canada’s air traffic routes, which he says redirected “40 per cent of all aircraft arrivals at Pearson” to fly over the Don Valley West area, which was previously unaffected by aircraft noise.
“An overarching concern is for the implementation of this flight plan without consulting both the residents and their local representatives beforehand,” Tory says. “As this flight path is concentrated and aircraft operation runs 24 hours a day, residents find little reprieve from the strong aircraft noise throughout the day and night.
NAV Canada spokesperson Ron Singer said numerous planes have always flown over midtown Toronto on their approach to the airport, and all that changed in 2012 is planes were ordered to pass 1.8 kilometres farther south than they did before.
“The former location of that flight path was also over a residential area and the altitudes in that area were slightly lower than they are today,” Singer said.
Tory and the Toronto Aviation Noise advocacy group are asking for NAV Canada to draft a new plan which involves input from the community and could potentially distribute air traffic more evenly throughout the city.
Singer says NAV Canada held a consultation period in the summer and fall of 2011, directing residents to visit a website that detailed the proposed changes.
Residents had two meetings with Lisa Raitt, the Harper Government’s final transport minister, and Tory says the election of a Liberal government means “there is an opportunity to take a new look.”
Approximately 1,100 planes land or take off each day from Pearson International Airport.
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, who represents the Don Valley West area provincially, is copied on the letter, along with several other politicians.
Singer said developing a new flight path for planes landing at Pearson would be difficult.
"Pearson is the busiest airport in the country and the safe management of air traffic in the region can and does impact several residential areas. There are no easy solutions however we believe the items we are currently consulting on will result in an improvement."