It would appear that we are living in a seven-week nightmare that features the roar of planes, not only landing, but often taking off, every 30 seconds from early morning until late at night. It is extremely stressful. The RHA is getting calls and emails from Rockwood residents, all wondering, “What the heck is going on?” and “Have they added a new runway over our neighborhood?” The good news is that the noise is temporary; the bad news is that we will be in this holding pattern until mid May. There is a four-phase construction project underway on the main east-west runway (5-23) at the airport. The first two phases are underway now and scheduled to be completed by mid May.
In order to complete this work, traffic has been diverted to the north-south runways, right over our homes. Unfortunately, this whole scenario will be repeated in October when the balance of the work is scheduled to be completed.
On April 19, a regularly scheduled CENAC (Community Environment and Noise Advisory Committee) was held. Joe Silva, RHA President, described the meeting as “hot, lively, loud and crowded.” With rumours circulating that the current noise levels were a “trial balloon” for things to come, the meeting drew a large and diverse crowd. Since all levels of government, Federal, Provincial and Municipal, were in attendance, this issue is being taken seriously. Sightings of “close calls” and averted take offs were noted, and highlighted the need to ensure that safety protocols were being followed.
Peter Fonseca, our Member of Parliament, expressed the community’s sentiment of dismay that the GTAA failed to communicate to anyone its intention to change airport traffic patterns, let alone those of us who would be most affected. Robyn Connelly, Director, Community Relations, GTAA, has confirmed that she will attend our AGM on May 17 to address our questions. The GTAA has also issued an apology to our residents by way of an advertisement, printed on the back page of this newsletter.
A joint community meeting for Markland and Rockwood is also in the planning stage, tentatively to be held at Silverthorn Collegiate on May 27, 2017. If and when this meeting is confirmed, it will be posted on our website. Meanwhile, the skies over Rockwood were quiet the last weekend of April. Is this a sign that we are getting back to normal—or just a calm before the next storm?