An Oshawa Airport action plan is focused on limiting flight school traffic and striking a better balance between airport activities and the ability of local residents to enjoy their home.
The business plan for the city’s own Oshawa Executive Airport expired at the end of 2019. The city has held numerous consultations for the creation of a new business plan, but an ongoing lawsuit with an airport-based flight school and a noise question.As a result of the cutback to the federal government, traffic at the airport cannot be foreseen in the long term, so a temporary action plan was drawn up until 2022.
The action plan prioritizes restricting flight school traffic, which has led to noise complaints from residents of Oshawa and Whitby about noisy planes flying over homes in the area.
Oshawa-based Doug Thomson is a longtime airport noise advocate and a citizen’s representative on the city’s airport business plan advisory committee.
“Overall, I think it is a constructive report that covers the issues that preoccupy the neighborhood and that have been expressed in the various workshops they have held and town hall meetings, etc.,” he said.
Thomson said he supports focusing on executive and corporate traffic at the airport and reducing flight school traffic.
He said flight schools had failed to adhere to city limits such as a moratorium on Sunday or holiday weekend flights.
“We are inundated with this flight activity at any time of the day or night; it goes on long after the night curfew and starts very early in the morning, ”he said. “It’s constant. There can be 15 to 20 seconds in between and you can always have 15 in the air, in a circle. “
The city will continue to pursue the eviction of one of the flight schools, the Canadian Flight Academy.
According to a city report, the flight school’s lease expired at the end of 2019 and the city proposed an extension by one year with additional requirements, including operating hours.
The flight school rejected the new requirements and the city instructed the company to vacate its premises on the airport grounds. The Canadian Flight Academy then tried to sue the city before arbitration and eventually sued the city in court to prevent an eviction. The rented property remains in court.
The city will look at all options to restrict the establishment of new flight schools at the airport, including calling on Transport Canada and investigating zone changes to prevent new flight schools, according to the action plan.
“We must continue to work at all levels of government to find a balance for our airport,” said Oshawa Mayor Dan Carter. “The impact our airport has had on our communities and our neighboring communities is unacceptable. I won’t stop until we’ve resolved this. “
But not everyone supports reducing activities at the airport.
Winston Stairs said he lived on the Oshawa Airport flight route and did not mind planes flying over his house.
Now inactive, he is a pilot who learned to fly at the airport through the now defunct Oshawa Flying Club.
“I wouldn’t have my pilot’s license if it didn’t exist when I first started flying,” he says, adding that flight training is important given the impending pilot shortage.
Stairs said he believed the residents’ noise complaints were unfounded.
“They knew or should have known before they signed the homeowner’s sales contract that there was an airport near or near their home,” said Stairs, who wrote a letter to his local MP Colin Carrie. wrote.
Thomson said he heard the comments that residents of the airport area should have known what they were getting into.
However, he said that traffic noise from flight schools has increased dramatically in recent years. He compared it to a longtime neighbor who bought a Harley Davidson without a muffler and ran it regularly. Although the neighbor may have been there a while, the noise problem is escalating.
“We can and have been continuously classified as NIMBYs, but we’re not saying we’re moving the airport,” said Thomson, referring to the acronym “not-in-my-backyard.”
Story behind the story: We looked at the new action plan for Oshawa Executive Airport and why local residents are campaigning for a reduction in flight school traffic.