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A Message from West Calgary Air Traffic Concerns

Jul 31st, 2018 | By | Category: City News

West Calgary Skies Hit Hard

Ever wonder why the skies over our previously-tranquil west Calgary neighbourhoods have become so busy over the past four years? The culprit is an international aviation plan entitled Next Gen which was rolled-out in 2007. At YYC it was delayed until 2014 to coincide with the opening of the new runway.

NextGen, the brainchild of the U.S. Federal Aviation Authority, requires aircraft to fly at low altitudes along tightly constrained and precise paths and its objective is to save time and fuel for the airlines. What the FAA filed to consider, however, was the effect these newly-created concentrated corridors would have upon those living beneath them.

Noise complaints have dramatically increased as quiet communities distant from airports suddenly, and without warning, became inundated by hundreds of low altitude planes. In Phoenix, citizens recently won a class action lawsuit against the FAA and the airport was forced to revert to the previous flightpaths. In April 2018, the Quebec courts authorized a group of homeowners beneath the busy corridors of Montreal’s Trudeau Airport to move forward with their class action lawsuit.

West Calgary, though distant from YYC and not under the final approach area, is experiencing high-volume in and out-bound aircraft on razor-thin corridors from before 6 a.m. until after midnight. Overnight flights are not uncommon. In addition to the extremely-busy Sarcee north-south corridor, there are several east-west routes (eg:  the 17th Ave. S.W. route). The effect on residents includes increased stress and interrupted sleep and there is the potential for decreased property values due to homes now being beneath major air traffic corridors.

Flight volumes are constantly increasing and we need to put pressure on our elected representatives and YYC to seriously address the issue of concentrated corridors. Our goal is not to exclude our areas from air traffic, thereby bombarding other communities, but rather to have a more equitable balance of air traffic throughout the city.

Please visit West Calgary Air Traffic Concerns website (wcatc.ca) for links to government representatives and YYC officials you can contact.

Follow us on Twitter:  @info_WCATC

Submitted by the West Calgary Air Traffic Concerns Committee

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