Q400 noise levels
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Unacceptable Noise in Surrounding Neighbourhoods
The Q400 aircraft flying out of the Island airport generate unacceptable levels of noise for the residents of Bathurst Quay, the waterfront, the railway lands, the island and the condos surrounding Fort York. The main runway of the airport is less than 200 metres from the nearest residences on Bathurst Quay. There are two schools, two day care centres and Harbourfront Community Centre in close proximity. Noise disruptions are very common at waterfront cultural and entertainment events at Harbourfront, the Music Garden, HTO Park, and the Molson Amphitheatre.
According to the manufacturer’s specifications, the noise levels of the Q400 exceed the allowable levels of the Tripartite Agreement. Despite this, Transport Canada has permitted the Q400 to be used at the island airport. The TPA is even supposed to charge a penalty of $5,000 (in June 1981 dollars) for each noise violation. This provision has never been enforced.
Family physician, Dr. Pieter Jugovic describes the health effects on residents due to the expansion of Toronto Island Airport. He discusses the impact of air pollution, noise, and traffic on the health of Toronto residents. In particular he focuses on how air pollution has an impact on children and people with respiratory problems. He suggests that citizens need to voice their concerns with politicians about the pollution impact on this community.
Airport Noise and Pollution Increases Risk for Illness
Larry West, the author of “Environmental Issues,” an Internet newsletter on the environment, writes in the May 2007 issue: “Researchers have known for years that exposure to excessively-loud noise can cause changes in blood pressure as well as changes in sleep and digestive patterns -- all signs of stress on the human body. The very word ‘noise’ itself derives from the Latin word ‘noxia,’ which means injury or hurt.” The original article can be found here.
Perhaps even more alarming, the European Commission, which governs the European Union (E.U.), considers living near an airport to be a risk factor for coronary heart disease and stroke, as increased blood pressure from noise pollution can trigger these more serious maladies. The E.U. estimates that 20 percent of Europe’s population -- or about 80 million people -- are exposed to airport noise levels it considers unhealthy and unacceptable. The orginal article can be found here.
Airport Noise Affect’s Children
Airport noise can also have negative effects on children’s health and development. A 1980 study examining the impact of airport noise on children’s health found higher blood pressure in kids living near Los Angeles’ LAX airport than in those living farther away. A 1995 German study found a link between chronic noise exposure at Munich’s International Airport and elevated nervous system activity and cardiovascular levels in children living nearby. And a 2005 study published in the prestigious British medical journal, The Lancet, found that kids living near airports in Britain, Holland and Spain lagged behind their classmates in reading by two months for every five decibel increase above average noise levels in their surroundings. The study also associated aircraft noise with lowered reading comprehension, even after socio-economic differences were considered.” The orginal study can be found here.
A recent study of the impact of noise pollution at Heathrow Airport in London, England found that it was much worse than was previously admitted. The study found the noise affects millions of people and households living under busy flight paths. The study concludes that noise levels have worsened dramatically since the previous study was done in 1985. The original study can be found here.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the United States considers airport noise so serious that they have spent $1.6 billion to help people sound proof their homes between 1996 and 2003 and expect to spend another $1.3 billion in soundproofing construction between 2004 and 2009. CommunityAIR has not found reference to similar plans anywhere in Canada. For more information about the American program click here.