MONTREAL – Transport Canada held a public consultation Saturday at the Pointe-Claire Holiday Inn on zoning changes that will affect construction around the Trudeau Airport.
It was a heated discussion, as residents living near the airport were eager to discuss noise problems in the area.
However the meeting with Transport Canada was not about noise but about zoning law changes.
Daniel Lalonde, a Ville Saint-Laurent resident and long-time campaigner on the issue, still expected to have satisfying answers about his concerns.
“The questions that I have raised were not necessarily answered,” Lalonde said.
For his part, Justin Bourgault from Transport Canada, said this was not the right place to discuss noise concerns because the consultation was about limiting the height of buildings around Trudeau airport.
“The consultation was really about the zoning regulation,” Bourgault said. “But we did take the questions anyway because it’s our responsibility to answer what we know about other topics regarding aviation.”
For residents who have campaigned to reduce noise levels since 2007, today was an opportunity to be heard, even if noise problems were not on the agenda.
“It’s in the due process, they presented to us the opportunity to express ourselves, now we’re gonna see how we are able to change people one by one,” Lalonde said.
The proposed changes in zoning that Transport Canada is presenting will not only limit the height of buildings surrounding Trudeau Airport to 45 metres, but the minimum height airplanes can fly over residential areas will also be increased.
Transport Canada is aware of the noise problems cited by residents and understands they would approach them with their concerns.
“Nobody has a real good grasp of all the regulations covering aviation except the experts who work in that domain every day,” Bourgault said. “It’s normal that people make a link between the zoning regulation or are afraid that there is a link between the regulation and the movement of aircrafts for example.”
Although residents may not have been satisfied with today’s hearing, they will have another chance to voice their opinion next week when the consultation continues.