Residents claim area airplane noise has ramped up

Local residents are appealing to the federal transport minister not to approve an application by the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) for an increase in its night flights budget. They fear it will contribute to what they say has been worsening noise from airplane flyover in the area.

Greg Russell, the president of the South Eglinton Ratepayers’ and Residents’ Association (SERRA), said the existing problem spread to the Davisville Village and Bathurst Street and St. Clair Avenue West areas after a local flight path was moved 1.8 kilometres southeast earlier this year.

Scott Armstrong, a spokesperson for the GTAA, which is also responsible for noise abatement and management in the Greater Toronto Area, said it is simply trying to accommodate increased demand, while being sensitive to area residents. The GTAA is looking for more leeway to add night flights without lifting the current cap.

Armstrong describes airplane flyover as a fact of life for those living in the Greater Toronto Area. The GTAA has a number of policies in place to reduce any impact on residents, as well as a community environment and noise advisory committee (CENAC).

Russell, however, believes the process is broken, and would like to see the minister of transport, infrastructure and communities, Denis Lebel, step in.

A spokesperson for Minister Lebel indicated that a decision had not yet been made regarding the GTAA’s request for an increase in its night flights budget.