No changes to morning departure times at Qualicum Beach airport

Some residents were asking for noise restrictions until 7 a.m.

The Qualicum Beach Airport’s early morning noises will not change soon, according to the new Noise Abatement Procedure (NAP) presented to council Oct. 26.

Bob Weir, town director of engineering and airport manager, told council that they were in the middle of finalizing it after two years work with Transport Canada when a delegation presented a petition Sept. 14, asking for noise reduction.

“The delegation appearing before council that night could not have been aware of the new procedure,” Weir told council, reading from his report.

He explained that the airport opened in 1954, 31 years before the Chartwell subdivision was built next door in what was then Regional District of Nanaimo jurisdiction.

“Although the potential conflict between these two land uses was inevitable,” Weir said, “the development of Chartwell adjacent to the airport was outside the jurisdiction of the Town of Qualicum Beach.”

The subdivision was amalgamated into the town at resident’s request in 2004. “I don’t think we should jump to try to restrict things based on residents who moved in knowing of the existence of the airport,” he said.

Coun. Barry Avis said that while people often point that out, residents respond that, “yes, but the airport had some rules and regulations at that time.”

The petition called on the town to restrict noise until after 7 a.m., but the new NAP restricts flights to 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Weir said the

6 a.m. time was chosen several years ago, “at the request of the operators and a lot of customers trying to make business connections.”