When the new airport runway opened in June 2014, Navigation Canada (a private corporation that manages Canadian air space) reconfigured flight paths and created a concentrated North-South flight path roughly in line with Sarcee Trail. Overnight, dozens of flights per day were directed over the West side of the City without notice or prior consultation with affected residents. This drastic increase in air traffic did not go unnoticed and individuals and groups have been petitioning for change ever since. In the fall, the Airport Authority began inviting stakeholders to Committee meetings where we were told about the next round of flight path changes. Stakeholders (including Wildwood Community Association) expressed concern over the lack of consultation in 2014 at these meetings but to date, no opportunity has been provided to revisit those changes.
The Airport Authority and Navigation Canada are now focussed on informing residents of more flight path changes that will steadily increase the number of flights on the concentrated West side flight path over the next five years. Six Open Houses have been held to inform Calgarians of this next round of flight path modifications. It is clear from the Open House presentation material and the associated survey, that the 2014 changes are not open to discussion or revision.
Stakeholders are asking:
- Why they were not consulted in 2014?
- Why does it appear that efficiency for the Airlines is considered the highest priority when planning flight paths?
- Why is the increased risk to people on the ground, of aircraft crisscrossing heavily populated areas, not considered a priority?
- Do so many flights need to be concentrated on one path?
- Is it fair for the 100,000 Calgarians living under the concentrated path to lose the enjoyment of their outdoor space due to the concentrated frequency and noise?
- What health and environmental studies have been done to assess impacts to people under constant air traffic noise?
Stakeholders understand that flight path design is complicated but it appears that the effects on Calgarians were not given due consideration. Navigation Canada’s unwillingness to revisit the 2014 changes may be explained by the fact that similar flight path changes at major Canadian airports drew significant objections from residents. We believe Calgarians deserve an opportunity to understand and comment on the 2014 changes. This is unlikely to happen without Calgarians asking for help from the Minister of Transport, who regulates Navigation Canada.
PLEASE ADD YOUR VOICE:
To encourage Navigation Canada and the Airport Authority to engage Calgarians in a reconsideration of the 2014 flight path changes, place a request with the Federal Minister of Transport. Direct communication with the Minister of Transport, Marc Garneau and the Member of Parliament for Calgary – Signal Hill, Ron Liepert is the most effective way to have stakeholder concerns addressed.
To make it quick and easy, copy the sample email below and send it off to the Minister for his assistance.
To: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
Subject: West Calgary Flight Path Alignment
Dear Minister Garneau and MP Liepert,
I am concerned with the changes made to flight paths in Calgary in 2014. The absence of notice and citizen engagement for such a significant change is inexcusable. The increased air traffic has affected my quality of life and reduced my sense of safety in my residence. Surely there are ways to reduce air traffic over densely populated areas of Calgary.
Please initiate an open review of the process and decisions leading up to the changes made to YYC flight paths in June 2014.
Thank you for considering this request for assistance.
Wildwood Community Association