New flight paths at Pearson Airport in Mississauga will reduce noise, pollution in Peel, Oakville and beyond

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Published November 15, 2021 at 1:51 pm

Incoming flights at Pearson Airport in Mississauga may soon take different approach routes in efforts to reduce both noise over Mississauga, Brampton and Oakville neighbourhoods, and pollution. 

Residents in Mississauga, Brampton, Caledon, Oakville and Halton Hills will be among those consulted in the coming weeks as NAV Canada works with the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA), which runs Pearson, to determine new arrival routes. 

Enabled by new technologies, NAV Canada says flight path changes are being proposed that will deliver noise mitigation in communities in Mississauga and across the GTA while cutting down on greenhouse gas emissions at the same time. 

The initiative comes as air travel is on the rise once again after being greatly restricted for some 18 months during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“The aviation sector’s successful recovery depends on continuing to find innovative ways to operate in an efficient and environmentally sustainable way, and keep air travel affordable for consumers,” NAV Canada officials said in a release, adding they’re committed to pursuing collaborative efforts with the GTAA aimed at minimizing aircraft noise and emissions.  

“The aviation industry continues to look at ways to reduce its environmental footprint, from sustainable fuels and alternative energy sources to improvements in aircraft technology and ground equipment and modern, more direct flight procedures.” 

NAV Canada says the proposed changes, which will be discussed at several upcoming virtual public sessions, would introduce an additional type of arrival procedure at Pearson known as Required Navigation Performance—Authorization Required. It leverages satellite-based positioning and modern aircraft flight management systems.  

The bottom line, officials note, is the newer arrivals procedures will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 178,000 metric tonnes over 10 years.  

And, where possible, they add, procedures have been developed to reduce the number of noisier flights over residential areas and flight times.  

NAV Canada officials say residents can join the virtual open house sessions and/or provide feedback online. 

Two of the eight virtual sessions are general information meetings and can be attended by anyone while the other six are targeted to specific communities. Those who attend will be able to ask questions. 

The following sessions, all with 5 p.m. start times, are planned: 

  • general information sessions: Nov. 22 and Dec. 7
  • Oakville and southwest Mississauga: Nov. 30
  • Brampton: Nov. 24
  • Halton Hills and surrounding area: Nov. 23
  • Caledon and King, including Bolton andNobleton: Nov. 25
  • Vaughan: Nov. 29
  • Mid-town Toronto, High Park, Parkdale, Leaside, Don Mills: Dec. 6

Many Mississauga residents living near Pearson Airport have been complaining for decades about the noise caused by hundreds of incoming and outgoing daily flights. 

With international travel on the rise once again and government restrictions on air travel eased, the number of daily flights has dramatically increased in recent weeks. 

GTAA officials said earlier this fall that “while air traffic volumes won’t hit pre-pandemic levels for some time, we anticipate that communities around the airport will begin to experience an increase in aircraft noise, given that air traffic has been at levels not seen since 1970 due to the pandemic.”  

They added that “this aircraft noise isn’t ‘new noise’. However, communities may experience it that way.” 

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