News / Calgary

Calgary Airport complaints going down, despite active callers

Eight repeat callers make up 66 per cent of complaints to the Calgary Airport

Calgarians aren't calling the airport to complain as much as they used to.

Courtesy/ DREAMSTIME

Calgarians aren't calling the airport to complain as much as they used to.

Is airport noise going down?

According to the airport authority, they saw 39 per cent fewer calls last year. The airport, like many in North America, has repeat callers. In Calgary, these top two callers are making four calls a day, and contributing to 46 per cent of concerns. Six more make up 20 per cent of calls.

“The good news is planes are materially quieter than even ten years ago, but to some people it’s still disturbing,” said airport CEO Robert Sartor. “We work really hard to try and avoid those complaints.”

He said omitting those eight people, who make up 66 per cent of calls, and their figures for concerns trend much lower.

From what he understands these individuals have been contacting the airport about noise for years. He noted for some individuals the only thing that will dampen their concerns about airport noise is shutting down the airport all together.

“There’s some constituencies with which we will never win,” Sartor said.

Coun. Ray Jones joked that he probably knows four of the eight callers.

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Mayor Naheed Nenshi said last year, Sartor was talking about narrowing flight paths to impact less homes.

“I was surprised to hear they’re not discussing changing the contours,” said Nenshi. “I need to follow up on that.”

He said if the noise “drives you crazy, it drives you crazy” but he’s confident that the community consultation committee are doing great work to mitigate impact on airport noise to existing communities.

In 2016, the airport worked with NAV Canada, Transport Canada, air carriers and community members. They started several “noise abatement” projects in 2016.

One, put in place last May, is called a required navigation performance approach. According to the airport authority, it lowered noise and also lowered emissions by having planes use less fuel as they approached.

Two noise-problem areas Rundle and Marlborough got “noise monitoring terminals.”

Studies that concluded over the year are available online. Along with a new resource called “public view” which shows airport activity and live time flights, questions and concerns can be submitted through the system.

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