Noisy Montreal flight path may be closed

Montreal's airport authority may cancel a controversial flight paths as soon as June, said CEO James Cherry.

Montreal's airport authority may cancel a controversial flight path as soon as June, says CEO James Cherry.

But there is no perfect solution for plane noise given Trudeau International Airport's proximity to the city, Cherry said Thursday at the authority's annual general meeting in Montreal.

Hundreds of residents from boroughs in northwest Montreal, Laval and Lachine picketed the meeting, demanding restrictions on night flights and asked that certain paths be rerouted.

Protesters then piled into the meeting room and monopolized question period with queries about the flight paths and noise pollution they say is unbearable.

A protester who lives near Trudeau airport holds up a sign with a slogan in French that says 'Daily stress? No thanks.’ ((CBC))

The Aéroports de Montréal (ADM) has been experimenting with new flight paths since September 2006, trying to divert larger jets leaving or departing from Dorval between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m.

One new  path crosses Montreal's northwest region, where residents in Cartierville, Ahuntsic and Laval say the planes fly too low and make unbearable noise.

The flight path is under committee review and will only be approved if certain criteria are met, including noise reduction, number of people affected and plane altitude, Cherry said.

"If we're able to do this, we'll continue," he said. "And if we're not able to do it, we're gonna have to put an end to it, 'cause it's not meeting what we set as the criteria at the beginning."

The planes should not be flying any lower than 762 metres, he said. A proposed flight path over Lachine will also be reviewed. 

Residents affected by the flight path near Dorval say their health is being affected by the incessant sound of planes taking off at night.

Louise Robin says she has lost sleep every night since the airport rerouted a flight path over her building. ((CBC))

"The noise is like BRRRRRRR, like a plane coming very low and [dropping] bombs over your head," said Louise Robin, 74, a resident in Cartierville's Saraguay neighbourhood. "I can't sleep."

"What are they giving me … five hours of sleep, four hours of sleep? Our areas have never had planes. All of a sudden we have these monsters over our head," said Robin, who attended the meeting on behalf of 280 resident in her seniors' residence.

Some residents at Thursday's protest demanded the ADM reroute big jet flights from Trudeau airport to Mirabel.

Cherry said there was no question of doing that now that Trudeau airport has established itself as an international hub for leading carriers.

With files from the Canadian Press