Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre says that to boost Montreal's economy, the city needs more direct flights to far-away destinations like Asia — and if that means nighttime departures and arrivals, he's all for it.
“People deserve to sleep and all that, but we are a metropolis … If we want to have more direct flights and we want to make an agreement with Asia for example, you will have to take a look at all those slots and see,” Coderre said.
But some say noise from airplanes has reached unbearable levels and is disrupting their sleep.
“I will lose sleep for sometimes a week in a row, which affects my quality of life, my work output, my health,” said Maurice Chacron, who lives in Town of Mount Royal and is a member of a group formed to fight airplane noise, Les Pollués de Montréal-Trudeau.
Call for complete curfews
Currently, large planes are not supposed to fly out of Trudeau between 12 a.m. and 7 a.m. or land between 1 a.m. and 7 a.m. unless there are exceptional circumstances such as flight delays.
“They can certainly grant exemptions. So, for example, I've seen big 737s taking off before 6 a.m. I've certainly heard them pass over our house at 5:30 a.m.,” Chacron said.
Chacron and his fellow-members of Les Pollués de Montréal-Trudeau are calling for a complete curfew between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m.
“Those curfews are already in place at other airports in the world -- for example Frankfurt Airport, Zurich Airport in Switzerland. Frankfurt Airport is the third-largest airport in Europe,” Chacron said.
Last week, about a dozen people attended Aéroports de Montréal's annual general meeting and grilled the airport authority's CEO James Cherry about the noise problem.
Cherry countered that the airport's noise footprint has shrunk 58 per cent in the last two decades, and that the number of residents affected is down 93 per cent — to about 3,000 people.
Members of the group have started measuring aircraft noise and plan to show the data they collect to Aéroports de Montreal and other officials.