Secretary, Rockwood Homeowners' Association
The GTAA (Greater Toronto Airport Authority) has applied to Transport Canada to increase the night flight limits. Night flights are take-offs or landings between 12:30 a.m. and 6:30 a.m. The reason for the increase is to satisfy primarily an expanding demand from Asian markets.
With an average of 36 night flights per night, these flights are capped as a percentage of total flights. Currently the cap is 3% of the total number of flights arriving or leaving Toronto Pearson. None of these night flights currently use the 33L/15R runway that is the direct flight path over Rockwood. The proposed increases should not change this.
While Toronto Pearson has requested a “modest increase” in the percentage of night flights allowed, this will be an ongoing issue as plans to increase day flights will create more demand for additional night flights. Further increases would be triggered by demand reaching 95% of the budget in the previous year (currently, approx. 13,200).
Last year Pearson turned down approximately 1,000 requests for night flights. Therefore, demand is already at 107.5%. So, even if demand remained stagnant, the new demand level after the first bump would be 97.8% and thereby trigger a second increase.
The number of night flights could be up to at least 44 in two years. There is already an allowance in place to increase night flights by whatever increase there is in passenger volume. So, a bump because of night flight demand could trigger another increase and thus allow the GTAA to double dip on night time demand.
As the GTAA has openly stated their goal of becoming North America’s gateway to the world, we can expect to hear more night flights in the years to come. While the north south runway under which
we live is not generally used to accommodate these flights, it is pulled into service when wind conditions
require this runway to be used.
In response to resident feedback, Councillor Fonseca has requested the GTAA to provide a presentation to the community on March 7th,from 7-8 p.m. at the Dixie Curling Club located at 3071 Palstan Rd. Representatives of Navigation Canada, and Transport Canada will also attend.
Although increases in night flights will have a minimal impact on Rockwood, increase in demand for flights from Asia to North America is a reality. The dilemma is that the airport is a serious source of revenue for the city not to mention the potential for increased business and associated employment opportunities in our backyard. Increased airport utilization will only enhance the value of our homes provided the associated noise levels do not increase from their current levels.
If you would like more information please go to www.torontopearson.com/community or www.GTAA.com or email community. firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Please note this article was originally published in the Spring 2010 edition of The Rockwood Times.