British Columbia

Concerns grow over aircraft noise increase in Delta, B.C.

Delta residents are voicing their concerns over projected increases in noise pollution as the Vancouver Airport Authority gets closer to its 2037 expansion plans.

438% increase in aircraft movement projected over Tsawwassen by 2037

Delta council says it is hearing concerns from residents worried about an increase in noise pollution as YVR expands. (Mike Hillman/CBC)

Delta council members say they are hearing concerns from residents worried about a significant increase in noise pollution as the Vancouver Airport Authority moves closer to its 2037 expansion plans.

"Residents have said they can't have a barbecue with friends in the backyard without the sound of aircraft coming overtop their property," said Coun. Jeannie Kanakos.

"That to me is an impact on quality of life and a significant concern."

According to a report from the Vancouver Airport Authority, there were 58 planes flying daily over Tsawwassen in 2015. By 2037, that number is expected to jump to 312 daily aircraft movements — an increase of 438 per cent. 

The report projects a 154 per cent increase for daily aircraft movements for neighbouring North Delta over the next twenty years.

Kanakos said the city is working with the Vancouver Airport Authority to come up with a plan to reduce noise pollution.

"A lot can be done with positioning of the route," she said.

"We have farmland and bog where there are no residents. We welcome the aircraft to fly over the bog and the farmland rather than over the residential areas of Delta."

In a statement, the Vancouver Airport Authority said it's committed to working with the city to find a solution to manage the noise.

"We have an active noise management committee that includes representatives from Delta," the statement said.

Delta Mayor Lois Jackson said improved technology has helped reduce noise over the years. 

"They are much, much quieter than they [were] 10 or 15 years ago," Jackson said.

The Vancouver Airport Authority said it is currently updating its noise management plan and is also working toward setting up another group in the new year "to look more deeply at aircraft noise in Delta."