Noise from new Calgary airport runway sparks heated debate at open house
CALGARY – A public discussion about noise pollution from planes taking off and landing at the Calgary airport became so heated on Wednesday that police had to be called.
The meeting, held at the Marlbough Community Association, was a chance for northeast residents to voice their concerns over the non-stop noise.
About 500 people packed into the facility.
“It rattles the window, and in the summer you can’t leave your windows open because you can’t hear your spouse in the house,” complained Renee Reeder. “During Stampede it was unbearable. I got migraine headaches for the first time in my life.”
Residents say the noise started with the opening of the Calgary International Airport’s new runway in June 2014. As there are now two parallel runways, planes must deviate 10 degrees when taking off. The change means eastbound planes often turn and head toward their destination while flying over northeast homes.
Representatives from the Calgary Airport Authority and Nav Canada attended the meeting. However, instead of addressing the group as a whole, they opted to answer questions one-on-one in an open house format. The decision caused already frustrated residents to become even more heated.
“We have technical groups looking at things, we have community groups that are part of the conversation, and we want to keep that conversation going,” said Calgary Airport Authority spokesperson Jody Moseley.
The airport authority said it asks pilots to reach 1,000 feet before turning toward their destination, but suggests it’s up to individual airlines to enforce.
– With files from Jayme Doll
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