How many flights happen after midnight at Pearson Airport in Mississauga?

Published March 6, 2022 at 8:31 am

Confirmed measles in from Pearson Airport in Mississauga, Ontario: Whitby Durham Health Department

Ever been woken by an airplane flying over your house in north Mississauga or south Brampton late at night?

Do planes fly out or Pearson Airport in Mississauga 24 hours a day or do they stop at some point?

Questions that we have all asked ourselves as we wake up in the middle of the night as we hear the jet engine over the house.

Many people might not know this, but Pearson operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for all 365 days out of the year.

Of the approximately 1,300 flights taking off and landing at Mississauga Pearson daily, 3.5 per cent—or an average of 46 flights a night—occur between 12:30 am and 6:30 am. These are the night flights.

But Pearson airport does care about your sleep around the neighbourhoods of Mississauga and Brampton so Mississauga Pearson manages a Night Flight Restriction Program—commonly known as the “night flight budget”.

This means it limits the annual number of night flights and helps keep nighttime traffic proportional to overall traffic.

Mississauga’s Pearson is the only airport in Canada to have a night flight budget mandated by Transport Canada.

This is what Pearson Airport in Mississauga does to try to keep the noise reduced during the late night hours:

Part of the Noise Management Program is to:

  • Restrict the amount of noise produced on the airfield where sound is closest to the communities that surround the airport
  • Restrict the amount of noise created at night when it’s most disruptive

Engine run-up restrictions

Ever been on a plane and you hear the plane get really loud, you think you are ready to take off, you get all excited and it stops? Well, the pilot didn’t do that just to get the cabin excited.

An engine run-up is a procedure conducted by airline maintenance staff to check an aircraft’s engines for performance. They are an integral part of the safety check, but they do cause a significant amount of noise.

That’s why the Noise Management Program has placed restrictions on when and where engine run-ups can take place:

  • All engine run-ups must be pre-approved by us.
  • All engine run-ups must take place at designated locations, strategically chosen to be as far away as possible from neighbouring residential communities.
  • Engine run-ups may not take place between midnight and 7:00 am unless the aircraft is scheduled to depart that morning.
  • No overnight engine run-up can exceed 15 minutes.
  • Engine run-ups are prohibited for all noisier Chapter 2 aircraft between 2:00 am and 5:00 am.

The Noise Management Program has always supported using quieter aircraft as the technology became available. Currently, the fleet operating in and out of Mississauga Pearson is 95% Chapter 4 or Chapter 4 equivalent.

Since Chapter 2 aircraft are significantly louder than Chapter 3 and 4 aircraft, they’re only permitted to operate from 7:00 am until midnight.

Chapter 2 aircraft
Small planes, private jets

Chapter 3 and 4 aircraft
Boeing 747, 787

So next time you hear an airplane go over your house at night you have confidently sounds smart and say that is a Chapter 3 or 4 aircraft overhead.

Pearson Airport is always looking for feedback in the community so you have always have your say.


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