The community served by Toronto Pearson expects the airport to be a good neighbour. One important way we can do this is by lessening the impact of our operations on the surrounding communities by reducing aircraft noise where possible.
In June 2015, the GTAA announced a three-phase Noise Mitigation Initiatives Engagement Plan with NAV CANADA to study six ideas that have the potential to reduce the noise impact of Toronto Pearson’s operations on surrounding neighbourhoods. These ideas are in response to feedback that has been provided by the community.
Ideas 1 through 4 focus on how the aircraft will approach and depart Toronto Pearson while in the air. Because NAV CANADA is responsible for all aspects of airspace design, such as flight paths, they are responsible for the study of these four ideas.
Ideas 5 and 6 explore the way the runways are allocated for aircraft arriving and departing from Toronto Pearson. Because the GTAA is responsible for runway assets at the airport, we are accountable for the study of these two ideas.
1. New approaches for night-time operations
During busy daytime periods, the safe management of air traffic necessitates certain restrictions. However, when traffic volumes are lighter at night and single runway operations are being used, there are options to improve descent profiles that could reduce noise impacts.
2. New departure procedures for night-time operations
There are opportunities to alter night-time departure procedures during lower traffic volume periods when only one runway is in use for departures. Increasing the altitude achieved before aircraft turns are permitted may deliver noise benefits for those under the departure flight path.
3. Increase downwind arrival speeds
Changing the published speeds on the “downwind” portion of the arrival flight path from 200 knots to 210 knots may reduce noise in some areas of the city by decreasing the need for flap use by pilots of larger aircraft needing to slow their airspeed.
4. Use new technology to reduce the need for low altitude leveling by arriving aircraft
Aircraft arriving at parallel runways require a level portion in the descent of each aircraft to ensure safe separation. There are noise impacts associated with power increases necessary to achieve low altitude level flight. New technologies could reduce the need for those level portions in flight profile and permit quieter, constant descent operations.
5. Weekend runway alternation
Traffic volumes on Saturdays and most of Sunday tend to be lower than other days of the week. The establishment of weekend preferential runways could facilitate runway alternation on weekends. Alternating runways could provide periods of weekend respite from noise for communities impacted by these operations.
6. Review of preferential runway system
Preferential runways exist to ensure that aircraft landing and departing overnight impact the fewest people. The possibility to alternate use of night-time preferential runways might result in sharing night-time noise impacts from aircraft operations across more communities.
Last updated: May 2016
The Noise Mitigation Initiatives Engagement Plan consists of a three-phase plan for consulting with the community and implementing new noise mitigation measures.
In July 2015, the GTAA and NAV CANADA began with Stakeholder Roundtables. The purpose of the Stakeholder Roundtables was to have an in-depth conversation with a small group of highly-engaged community members to get some initial feedback on scope and approach for studying the ideas further.
Attendees of the Stakeholder Roundtables—including leaders of local community associations and groups, elected officials, and CENAC members—gave input on the Noise Mitigation Initiatives Engagement Plan process, criteria for decision making, and next steps.
This phase is now completed and a summary of the reports and feedback are available below.
This phase of the Noise Mitigation Initiatives Engagement Plan is where each of the six ideas are thoroughly studied and analyzed for current and future airport traffic scenarios. The Technical Analysis Work Plan was informed by the feedback from the Stakeholder Roundtables.
The Technical Analysis phase is taking longer than anticipated due to the complexity of the proposed changes, but we continue to make meaningful progress on the items identified in our work plan.
Update: May 30 and 31, 2016 Technical Briefing Feedback
On May 30 and 31, 2016, we invited participants from the Phase 1 Stakeholder Roundtables, as well as CENAC members, to a technical briefing to provide an update on our progress. The feedback from these sessions will help us finalize options as we move forward with next steps in the Technical Analysis.
View the May 30 and May 31, 2016, Technical Briefing presentation materials.
View the May 30 and May 31, 2016, Technical Briefing Feedback presentation.
View the May 30 and May 31, 2016, Technical Briefing Feedback.
This phase is ongoing.
This phase of the Toronto Noise Mitigation Initiatives Engagement Plan follows learning the results of the Technical Analysis. At this point, there will be clear data explaining the potential community benefits or impacts of each idea.
The GTAA and NAV CANADA will begin a broad public consultation to understand community preferences and concerns for the ideas that have the possibility of implementation.
This is the next phase; timing to be confirmed.
Phase 1: Supporting Materials—Stakeholder Roundtables
The feedback obtained through the Stakeholder Roundtables informs the technical study of each idea during the next phase of the process. An outline of the study plan is provided in the Technical Analysis Workplan. A full public consultation is planned for 2016.
Hide/Show all answers below
We recognize that airports have impacts—such as noise on local communities. While airplane noise can’t be eliminated entirely, Toronto Pearson wants to be a good neighbour to the surrounding communities. One way to do this is to lessen the impact of our operations on our neighbours by reducing aircraft noise where possible. Together, NAV CANADA and the GTAA are studying six ideas we think will benefit the surrounding communities as part of the Toronto Noise Mitigation Initiatives Engagement Plan – six ideas with the potential for some noise relief are currently under review. The technical analysis will be completed in 2016. After that, we will conduct public consultation to discuss the results.
The purpose of the Toronto Noise Mitigation Initiatives is to explore some ideas with potential for noise relief for the communities impacted by airport operations.
The Noise Mitigation Initiatives Engagement Plan outlines how the GTAA and NAV CANADA have and will continue to consult with impacted stakeholders (residents, community groups, elected officials, industry stakeholders).
The three phases of the engagement are:
Some of the ideas that were submitted to NAV CANADA and the GTAA are reflected as part of the six ideas.
We have posted a document in the Presentations, Archives, and Reports section above, which includes a list of ideas that have been submitted. For each idea, details are included as well as an indication as to whether it was included or not, and if not, why.
We take the concerns of all community members affected by our operations seriously. We take a balanced approached when assessing any noise mitigation initiatives.
The complaints help us understand what impacts our airport operations are having on the community and help us: