To: The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Transport,
Infrastructure and Communities, Ottawa.
Dear Mr. Cannon,
Traffic of small aircraft, particularly float-planes and helicopters,
has dramatically increased in the Lower Mainland (i.e. Greater Vancouver and the lower Fraser Valley), the Sunshine Coast and the south-east side of Vancouver Island in recent years. Let me refer to this area as the Georgia Straight Rim (GSR). There are ever more
residents affected by this rapidly growing activity, generating
intolerable levels of noise. It is also often in violation of corresponding municipal noise bylaws.
Vancouver and Victoria airports expanded considerably during the past 15 years. YVR (Vancouver) wants to expand still further with yet another runway. Other secondary airports within the GSR have ambitious plans to expand as well, all of which will only add to the already existing mayhem. With the "hubs," of course, the "spoke"-traffic will grow as well. The Right to Quiet Society has received and is receiving numerous inquiries about this problem by concerned and adversely affected residents.
One major part of this problem is the fact that the aircraft in question fly ever more frequently far too low over residential areas. Another important factor is the lack of implementation of modern technology in propeller design and engine muffling, as well as other aerodynamic improvements in wing and body design. Still other significantly mitigating measures would be to avoid residential areas where aircraft could very well fly over large enough bodies of sea-water. And, of course, the strict adherence by all pilots to all requirements needs to be rigorously monitored and enforced. It is precisely there where we see a grave and growing lack.
Very unfortunately, NavCanada, commissioned by Transport Canada, establishes or changes flight-paths with no proper public consultation. As far as we know, there are no environmental impact studies done, no noise contours produced that would show what noise levels will occur in what places, in order to allow for meaningful planning on the ground prior to routing noisy aircraft over it. In our opinion, NavCanada has too much discretion, and Transport Canada does not have appropriate checks and control mechanisms in place to protect the residents from this rather unhealthy development.
As for the cost involved to introduce the requirements alluded to above, we would argue that failing to do so will also bring on tremendous costs in terms of healthcare and possible safety risks. We urge you to seriously consider this matter and make the investment in truly "urban-friendly" noise reduction now, to avoid enormous
I would very much appreciate to hear/read about your thoughts on this
issue and look forward to your reply.
Right to Quiet Society
Please see page 5 for reply