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COPA weighs in on unreasonable flight restriction at Saint-Hubert Airport

By Patrick Gilligan

 

The Municipality of Longueuil is trying to adopt a bylaw to restrict operations of piston powered aircraft at Saint-Hubert Airport in Quebec.

The bylaw would restrict piston aircraft operations after 20:00 to 07:00 on week-days, after 17:00 on Saturdays and completely forbid piston powered aircraft on Sundays. This apparently politically based restriction stems from noise complaints from residents living in the surrounding area.

COPA has been in contact with CYHU stakeholders since this issue first appeared and has studied closely the safety and legality of such restrictions. After consulting with Transport Canada, COPA sent a letter to DASH-L (Dévelopment Aéroport Saint-Hubert de Longueuil), the owner/operator of CYHU to whom Transport Canada transferred the airport in 2004 to promote and develop the airport and the entire airport area, reminding them that a Transport Canada consultation procedure must be followed prior to any flight restrictions being imposed. This procedure can be found at http://www.tc.gc.ca/CivilAviation/AerodromeAirNav/Standards/Noise/Checklist.htm.

Our letter also asked DASH-L to consider the implications of such restrictions and we offered our assistance and experience to mitigate noise issues at Saint-Hubert.