Airport Noise Issues
City Council recognizes that having one of Canada's largest international airports within the municipality is a great economic benefit. While this is an important fact, we also understand that this benefit must be balanced with the well-being of the citizens of Mississauga. The airport and its operations are the responsibility of the Greater Toronto Airport Authority (GTAA) which leases the airport from Transport Canada. One of the requirements of the lease agreement is that the GTAA set up certain committees to enable the municipalities and citizens monitor the operations. I have recently been appointed as one of the Council representatives on the Noise Management Committee.
As a member of this committee, I will be better able to bring concerns over aircraft noise to the attention of the GTAA. City Council, at my request, recently re-affirmed the City's position on 24 hour operation at Pearson Airport. With the construction of two additional east/west runways as well as a north/south runway, there is no need for extended hours of operation in order to accommodate the air carriers. The new runways will increase capacity at Pearson so that this is not required.
In January, 1992, City Council endorsed a set of conditions for operation of the airport. These were forwarded to Transport Canada which was operating the airport at that time. Recently, however, the GTAA has been running test flights during the restricted hours with the clear intent of increasing operating hours. At the time Council was made aware of this, I stated that I did not think that the GTAA could make such a change. This was confirmed by the Minister of Transport who has since declared that there will be no change to the operating hours at Pearson.
I also have raised concerns over the operation of the GTAA and challenged that they have not been operating fully under the public accountability guidelines of the Federal Government. In October 1997, I represented Mayor McCallion at a meeting with Transport Canada officials, the Regional Chair and Mayors of Brampton and Caledon to discuss these concerns. Transport Canada officials clarified the nomination process that was to be followed for Regional nominees to the GTAA board. This confirmed that the process which was followed recently was not as set down in the GTAA by-laws and that Mississauga Council was correct in its interpretation of the process. I asked Transport Canada to review additional parts of the GTAA by-laws as well as the process under which they were adopted but we are still awaiting this in writing.
I will continue to monitor airport operations and will represent you at the Noise Committee. Please contact me if you wish to have any concerns raised at future meetings.
E-mail me or call my office at (905) 896-5900