Qualicum Beach Airport was used for helicopter training by Transport Canada during October and November.
While the airport welcomes the business, residents in the nearby areas have raised concerns about the noise from the choppers.
Mayor Brian Wiese and Coun. Robert Filmer said they’ve had to endure a number of emails complaining about noise.
Filmer said while he sympathizes with the residents nearby, there is little that can be done.
“When you move beside a highway, you are going to get highway noise, especially if the highway was there before your house,” said Filmer. “When you move beside an airport, you’re going to get airport noise because the airport was there before your house. I understand the comments that I’m making, a lot of people are not going to like. But I think that a really important piece is, it’s not like we just put the airport there and it’s not like business is just quickly revamped at the airport.”
Filmer said the airport was selected for training by Tranport Canada to perform exercises related to fire and ambulance because it is a good facility.
“There’s no difference between whether it’s Qualicum Beach, Victoria International or Vancouver International; yes, there’s airplane noise and yes, there’s always complaints,” said Filmer. “But there’s not a lot that can be done on our end when it comes to aircraft noise. We allow aircraft to use the airport unless we shut the airport down completely. There’s going to be aircraft and there’s not a lot that we can do about that.”
Wiese said staff members have done a good job of informing the public of the scheduled activity happening in the airport.
“It’s a great airport we have,” said Wiese. “I got numerous phone calls but we do make a special effort to notify of trainers coming to the airport. We want our airport to be really successful.”