MP gets complaints over new flight paths

MP John Carmichael will meet Oct. 9 with residents of Leaside and nearby areas who are complaining about increased noise this year from overhead aircraft traffic.

Representatives have been invited from Nav Can and GTAA (Greater Toronto Airport Authority) as well as MPP Kathleen Wynne, Councillors John Parker and Jaye Robinson.

There will be public representatives from Leaside, Lawrence Park, Davisville and Forest Hill.

The increase in traffic started in February this year when Nav Can changed flight paths for Toronto.

Greg Russell, president of the South Eglinton Ratepayers and Residents Association (SERRA), who has been involved in the flight path issue since 2008 when he moved to Davisville Village, which is in flight paths, from East York, where there were none, says in an email that earlier this year “Nav Canada implemented an airspace re-design for efficiency of operations, and this was part of a larger program to redesign the Windsor to Quebec traffic corridor. There was no public dialogue/consultation with the affected residents – no meetings held to discuss these changes or an environmental assessment.”

This past spring Renee Jacoby, of Parkhurst Blvd., who previously had worked for former councillor Jane Pitfield, was approached by Leaside residents about the noise.

She herself had noticed it and thought “my neighbours were moving their garbage bins because of the raccoons, or it’s thunderstorms.

“Saturday nights are the worst for noise, so much so that it is unpleasant to sit in the backyard,” she says.

Some Leasiders complain the noise starts as early at 5:30 a.m. and goes late into the night.

One resident of Davisville Village said planes fly over his house every 30 seconds to two minutes seven days a week, and it’s worse at night.

Jacoby spoke to Carmichael in the summer. She says a July “fact finding” meeting had to be cancelled and was rescheduled for this month.

“There are three tones of noise,” says Jacoby. “The first is where you cannot see the plane but can hear it, second a distant noise where the plane may be two blocks away and finally the loudest noise where the plane is on top of your house.”

Ron Singer, media relations for Nav Can, said in an email,  “The airspace and route structure in the Toronto-Ottawa-Montreal corridor was largely designed in the 1980s.”

The flight plans were changed because “passenger and air traffic volumes have almost doubled and there have been significant advancements in air traffic control and aircraft navigational technologies.

“Note that the changes, which affected Montreal, Ottawa as well

as Toronto, followed a three-year study.

“Note the significant environmental and fuel-saving benefits including: reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 14,300 metric tons – a reduction equivalent to the annual emissions from 2,800 passenger cars, reduce aircraft fuel burn by 5.4 million litres annually, resulting in an annual savings of approximately $4.3 million in avoided fuel costs, reduce cumulative flight time by over 10 hours daily based on current traffic volumes.”