12 December 2012

CYOW Noise Management Committee

Noise is not a big issue for Ottawa’s International Airport. Sure there was a considerable bump in noise complaints during the summer while runway 07-25 was being resurfaced. During that period most traffic was handled on runway 14-32 thereby routing it over populated areas of the city that normally see fewer aircraft. In fact, excluding the 151 complaints generated during resurfacing 07-25, there was about 61 complaints generated during normal operations using both runways 07-25 and 14-32. This compares well with previous years complaints.

That said, there were some very angry folks affected by noise during the resurfacing of 07-25. One somewhat childish complainer would hold the phone to the air to pick up a passing jet and then yell a profanity into the phone. The complaints extended across Gatineau, QC and in the highly populated approach and departure paths to runway 14-32.

Still with all runways in operation the dominate aircraft type generating most complaints is the light Cessna used for flight training. And for these aircraft it is their circuit over populated regions that generates the complaints. The other activity that generates significant noise complaints are police operations which tend to circle at relatively low altitude over a small area for considerable time, even at night.

2014 will see runway 14-32 resurfaced, but it is expected to generate fewer noise complaints than happened this summer. There may be some impact on long haul flights from Ottawa that need the extra length provided by use of runway 14-32. So we may see slightly fewer long haul flights and perhaps some passenger complaints about less convenient flights. Of course these complaints will fall on the airlines.

This is rough summary of the Noise Management Committee meeting I attended this afternoon at the airport. If you have a comment or concern do not hesitate to contact me.

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