Night flights will soon be banned at Longueuil, Que., airport after years of noise complaints
Agreement reached to ban commercial flights from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. starting April 2024
Marie-Pierre Brunelle knew what she was getting into 22 years ago when she moved into her home near the Saint-Hubert Airport in the city of Longueuil.
Only six kilometres away from the tarmac, she said the planes overhead didn't bother her at first. But that changed in 2019 with the arrival of high-capacity jets.
"At that point, the noise level went skyrocket," she said. And it's no different at night, she said, while she's trying to sleep.
"I can't make noise after 11 p.m., but they have 100-decibel planes that just fly over … at all hours."
The city of Longueuil says some relief is on the way for South Shore residents like Brunelle.
The city and airport have reached an agreement to ban commercial flights from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. starting next year, thereby ending overnight noise that has plagued residents of the area for years.
Longueuil Mayor Catherine Fournier said in recent years, the issue of night flights has been a major irritant for some residents.
"It goes without saying that social acceptability is essential to the airport's development projects, and this is precisely what the agreement reached today addresses," said Fournier on Friday.
The city and airport have also agreed to install a noise monitoring system.
The official ban will take effect April 24, 2024 — the date marking the end of a contract between the airport and the company that operates the Boeing 737s.
Yanic Roy, the airport's general manager, said there are also several other proposals on the table and his team will consult with elected officials.
"It is important to understand that currently, almost all of the complaints received were associated with Boeing 737-200 flights at night. We're talking about two to three flights a week," he said.
The announcement comes after public consultations with citizens on new plans for the airport. Brunelle's anti-noise pollution committee took part in those consultations.
She says next year's ban is a step in the right direction, but the city and the airport aren't going far enough.
"We want public data on what flights are going over and when," she said. "People are always asking about a complaint system that would be easy to use and would be transparent."
Brunelle says it's also unfair that residents are expected to endure another year of late night commercial flights.
"There shouldn't be an airplane flying over waking us up," she said.
with files from CBC's Sharon Yonan-Renold and Radio-Canada
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