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LETTER: Airport noise reaching new heights

I read the article by Wolfgang Depner entitled ‘Return to office may have drowned out airport noise complaints’ with great interest. It is nice to see that the number of complaints is down, but I doubt that the noise has been “drowned out.” I was struck by the stress on complaints while nothing much was said about overall noise abatement except that the “authorities” did nothing about the present complaints as they were deemed a part of “normal airport operations.”

I have been around airports most of my adult life having a pilot’s licence and serving in the RCAF. However, here in Sidney I unfortunately live directly under the flight path of the flying club’s circuit training wherein the Cessnas go directly over our house on full power every day (morning, afternoon, evening). With all of the windows closed in the house we have to turn up the TV when they are overhead; we cannot have a normal conversation when on the outside patio. Now that we are getting some fairer weather the club’s plane traffic has increased noticeably. I am relieved with Coun. Terri O’Keeffe’s prediction that this will be reduced come this summer, and can only hope that this comes to pass.

Overall, I find it hard to believe that the VAA and other “authorities” seem satisfied to dismiss all noise complaints as part of “normal airport operations,” implying that nothing can or will be done in this area, except for VAA’s increased education efforts. Why not convene a discussion about this topic with both those capable of doing something about it, and those affected by the noise. At the very least those affected would feel that they had some direct input and are heard. Personally, I have tried several times to address this issue with those in power to little avail, and always hear the same excuse as above. It’s as if nothing can be done about it, and that is just not true. How about putting some effective mufflers on the Cessnas, changing the flight path for circuit training such as extending the takeoff path out over the water before turning onto the first crosswind leg, reducing or restricting hours of circuit training? There are many other options that could be examined.

Noise abatement is a major issue with almost all airports, especially those in close proximity to urban centres. Many airports spend a lot of time and money in this regard. I am sure that other airports would have some ideas on the topic.

John Bardsley