Harbourfront Community
Noise Standards - Proposed

1. Noise from Toronto Island Airport should never exceed 85 decibels (dbc).

2. Noise levels above 75 decibels (dbc) are still a problem for the community,
so 75 dbc should be considered as an operational noise limit during the day.

3. Special Noise Reduction Times are proposed for quiet times and sleeping hours.

There should be no engine runups before 8 am or after 8 pm.
Commercial flights should not be allowed after 10 pm.

There should also be no engine runups on Sunday,
as this is supposed to be a quiet day for families
people in parks, and tourists visiting the Waterfront.

5. Community Noise Logs are being kept to monitor airport noise levels,
and the community will report on excessive noise violations.

6. Itís proposed that Noise Violation Fines should be collected by the Port Authority,
and paid to the Harbourfront Community Centre, as the HCC suffers the most
from island airport noise and pollution.

Public Survey Regarding
Community Noise Standards
for Toronto Island Airport

For this community survey, harbourfront residents are invited to express
personal preferences for the purpose of managing Island Airport Noise.

Do you agree or disagree with the following Airport Noise Management Principles Ö

1. The Community should have a say in defining ďAirport Noise StandardsĒ
for the Airport Tripartite Agreement, especially relating to engine runups,
airport noise contours, ferry horn noise, and flight takeoff and landings.

    Agree       Disagree       Undecided     Not Interested

2 . As Toronto Island Airport is located in an urban community,
in the middle of a residential neighborhood, Airport Quiet Times
shall be maintained between 10 pm and 8 am, with no flights scheduled
during Airport Quiet Time, excepting emergency and essential service flights.

    Agree       Disagree       Undecided     Not Interested

3. Loud engine maintenance runups should not be done during Airport Quiet Times

    Agree       Disagree       Undecided     Not Interested

4. Engine Runup Option: As engine maintenance runups are the number 1 noise problem
engine maintenance runups should be banned from the island airport. This will be important
when the island airport is used by several airlines which have maintenance facilities at other airports, ie. Pearson & Hamilton Airport.

    Agree       Disagree       Undecided     Not Interested

5. Noise Violation Fines imposed on airlines for breaching Island Airport Noise Limits
should be paid by the airlines to a Community Trust Fund or Harbourfront Community Centre.

    Agree       Disagree     Undecided     Not Interested

If you want to receive survey results
provide contact information (*)

name *
email *

postal code



An Open Letter For: Mayor Rob Ford, City of Toronto

Subject: Airport Noise is Excessive in an Urban Neighborhood

I live near the island airport, and suffer from sleep deprivation because of the noise the airport makes. I want to ask, at what point is airport noise considered excessive. Someone must make this determination, and it should be the city, because the Port Authority is not doing it.

Let me describe what the airport does, and how it ignores normal human standards of decency, as far as creating a neighborhood disturbance is concerned. The island airport operates at industrial strength noise levels from 6 am until 11 pm, every day, every week, all year long. This gives no rest, and no break from the industrial level of noise which invades our homes all day long, every day, and this is building shaking noise.

There are regulations which limit noise from air flights out of the airport, but there are no limits on noise from airport ground operations. Itís these ground operations which are excessively noisy. Engine run-ups, driving plane engines at full blast for pre-flight maintenance, shake neighboring buildings, and can be heard as far away as Bay Street. Airport maintenance sometimes operates all night long, waking nearby residents with never-ending construction noise, and loud crashing sounds that penetrate solid walls.

Why are city noise bylaws banning loud noise after 11 pm not being applied to the island airport. In my personal experience, I am being awakened so often by airport noise that Iím getting only 3-4 hours of sleep some nights. My blood pressure is soaring and my heart is pounding. Basically, the island airport is making me sick.

In an online survey of Harbourfront residents, more than 98% of respondents said that airport noise is too loud after 8 pm. Can the city help the Harbourfront community with this, and either impose airport quiet times between 8 pm and 8 am, or close the airport because of the violation of the Tripartite Agreement condition on excessive noise.

The Harbourfront Community requests that community noise standards be implemented, according to the conditions of the Tripartite Agreement for banning excessive noise at Toronto Island Airport.

Community Noise Logs

For this Island Airport Noise Survey,
Harbourfront residents measured airport noise and
recorded noise measurements in a timewise noise log.

Comments are posted below

Airport Noise Logs

Community Noise Survey Comments -
Noise Log #1
This noise log was recorded at 680 Queens Quay West, Toronto.

These are observations and conclusions arising from the measurement of noise from our home, a 3rd floor apartment with a balcony which overlooks Little Norway Park, and the Toronto Island Airport.

Factors affecting noise readings are wind, and combined noise readings when the airport, car traffic and construction noise all add up to make a much louder noise reading.

If the wind blows from the south, the noise is louder, especially on cloudy days. Regular airport noises can sound extremely loud after dark, especially after midnight.

Another factor is balcony height, as lower balconies can be partly protected from airport noise by tall trees in the park. Higher balconies have no noise barriers.

Looking at noise measurements from this third floor balcony, we conclude that there are three types of noise:

noticeable sounds
loud noises
very loud noises

Beyond very loud noise is painful noise, but painful noise levels are rarely reached except by police and fire sirens or lightning.

When noise is noticeable and unnoticeable, itís not a problem. We can live comfortably with noises within the 50 dbc decibel and 60 dbc decibel range. When the sound level reaches 70 decibels, the noise becomes loud enough to interfere with our lives. If we play a stereo or turn up a TV to 75-80 decibels, a neighboring apartment can hear the noise.

The noise comfort/discomfort line, as an acceptable community noise standard, can be drawn at 75 decibels (dbc).

Above 80 dbc, noise becomes a problem. More than a distraction, 80 decibels can interfere and take over our lives. We have difficulty hearing conversations. We have difficulty hearing music. We canít continue writing a letter at 80 dbc because the noise is too distracting. Itís difficult working or writing a report with a stereo turned up this loud.

People living near the airport live with noise levels of 70 to 90 decibels every day, from 6 am to midnight, and sometimes past midnight. Most of this noise comes from the airport.

Approximately 20 percent of loud noise peaks come from unusually loud traffic, like transport trucks and garbage trucks. Motorcycles and Paratranspo buses are very loud.

Experiencing these sounds, with a DB Meter to compare traffic noises and airport sounds, I can conclude that LOUD NOISES ARE A SMALL PROBLEM, but VERY LOUD NOISES ARE A SERIOUS PROBLEM.

Measuring LOUD and VERY LOUD noises over a one month period gives an accurate indication of how noise affects a community. The number of VERY LOUD noises is an accurate measure of serious noise problems for a community.

In the month of August 2009, I was able to record noise levels for 30 loud and very loud noise experiences.

As measurements were sampled approximately 1% of the time available, itís assumed these numbers can be multiplied 100 times to get an accurate number of loud and very loud noise experiences occurring in the neighborhood every month.

On the basis of these figures, itís estimated that 3000 loud and very loud noise experiences occurred in this community in the month of August, 2009.

40% of these noise experiences were VERY LOUD, totaling an estimated 1200 VERY LOUD noise experiences over a one month period.

The airport accounts for 84% of the very loud noises in the Bathurst Quay Neighborhood, and loud airport noise dominates the community 10 - 20%% of the time.

Community Noise Survey Conclusions - Noise Log #3
This noise log was recorded at 650 Queens Quay West, Toronto.

The noise level is constantly over 70 dbc, often over 80 dbc and sometimes over 90 decibels.

When it is very quiet, it is about 65 dbc. With some city noise, it is about 70dbc. Whenever there is a plane taxiing, it goes to over 75 dbc.

This noise study indicates that there are constant activities in the airport that exceed 74 dbc. It is more than just the split second of planes taking off or landing. Planes run the engine before taxiing, as they wait at the runway before taking off.

There are often many planes making this much noise at the same time. Sometimes, there are two or more Q400ís running engines, taxiing, taking off and landing. Making it worse is the addition of small plane activities. So the noise is continuous and creates a constant nuisance.

Public Complaints about Island Airport Noise, May, June, 2011

Thank you for submitting your complaint to the BBTCA Noise Complaint Website. We are reviewing your complaint and will respond to you directly shortly. A copy of your complaint is provided below.

Noise Management Team, Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport

Incident Description: Date: 05-29-2011, Time: 23.15

Itís now 11:15 pm on Sunday night and I can't sleep because the island airport is making too much noise. Iíve been laying in bed for an hour listening to airplane noise which is as loud as thunder. This noise has been continuous since 6 am this morning. Every day from 6 am to 11 pm.

Itís unfair to place a busy airport in the middle of an urban neighborhood and to make this much noise non-stop. Please stop making so much noise, especially after 10 pm. Stop acting like a bunch of noise bullies, and let people get some sleep.

Thank you for your email from May 29, 2011.

I would like to take this opportunity to inform you that your noise complaint has been reviewed and recorded into our monthly noise complaint report.

We do not permit aircraft to operate outside of the normal hours 6:45 AM to 11:00 PM daily except for medical emergencies. Although there were no arrivals or departures outside these hours some flights were delayed from positioning on to their gate until after 2300 due to congestion on the apron. This congestion was due to the heavy thunder storms in the area in the evening which resulted in an unusual number of aircraft movements past the 2200 hour.

Michael Antle, Noise Management Office, Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport

Incident Description :

Kept awake by more loud airport noise. Now I will have difficulty getting to sleep. Waking at 6 am for work will be difficult again. I can t understand how anyone can be so inhuman as treat other people this way.

Incident Description, Date: June 1, Time: 12:35 am

12:35 pm. More whining airplane noises are keeping me awake. What is wrong with you people? Your lack of humanity is incredible.

Thank you for your email from June 1, 2011.

We do not permit aircraft to operate outside of the normal hours 6:45 AM to 11:00 PM daily except for medical emergencies. A check of the Noise Radar System indicates no flights arrived or departed from Billy Bishop Airport at the time of your complaint. There were aircraft over flying the area en route to Pearson International at the time but they were above 5000 feet.

Incident Description, Date: June 6, 2011, Time: 10:55 pm:

10:55 pm. Iím trying to get to sleep for an hour now, but itís impossible to sleep when the island airport is operating at industrial noise levels all day, every day, all year round The island airport makes so much noise, it s impossible to get enough sleep.

This much sleep deprivation is a serious problem. The island airport should ban flights after 10 pm, if you have any human decency. But you arenít decent people. You re a bunch of neighborhood noise bullies and you don t give a shit how much misery you cause for other people.

Thank you for your email from June 1, 2011.

We are currently performing maintenance to the airfield and given the nature of the airport operations some work can only be completed outside of aircraft operating hours. Where ever possible work has been completed during the day to minimize the impact to the surrounding community.

The current work on Alpha Taxiway is scheduled to be completed by the end of the weekend.

Michael MacWilliam, Noise Management Office, Billy Bishop Airport
Incident Description, Date: June 6, 2011, Time: 11:30 pm

It's 11:30 pm and I'm still awake, listening to loud noise which seems to be coming from the airport. It s not a plane taking off or landing. Maybe itís a helicopter idling on the runway. It s loud enough to keep me awake, which is bad as I have to get up for work at 6 am. I'm wide awake now, Just laying in bed wondering what the hell is that noise. Thinking I may never get a good nightís sleep ever again. This is just not right. You shouldnít build an industrial machine in a residential neighborhood. This is truly inhuman.

Dear Mr. Moore

On the date and time of your complaint, regarding excessive noise we have reviewed our available data and determined that there was no unusual aircraft activity. Please be assured that airport authority strictly monitors the types of aircraft flying in and out of the airport, and that all aircraft using the airport are in accordance with our airport operating agreement.

Michael MacWilliam, Noise Management Office, Billy Bishop Airport
Incident Description, Date: June 7, Time: 12:50am

12:50 pm. The airport noise is getting louder again Wonder what it is? Doesnít sound like planes, just a lot of industrial noise coming form the direction of the airport.

Incident Description, Date: June 7, Time: 1:10 am

1:10 am. Now there s a helicopter flying around the airport. Of course, the airport people will give some excuse, like itís not our helicopter or it was just passing by. All I know is I m getting very little sleep tonight because the Island Airport is wide awake loud.

Dear Mr. Moore:

Your complaint has been recorded into our noise complaint report. I have reviewed our Aircraft Tracking System and did not find any helicopter activity at the time you specified in the complaint.

Michael MacWilliam , Noise Management Office, Billy Bishop Airport
Incident Description, Date: June 7, Time: 2:05 am

2:05 am. The noise from the airport is now so loud, my heart is pounding in my chest. I suppose the good news is that I won t be late for work. Airport noise will wake me up before 6 am.

Dear Mr. Moore:

Your noise complaint has been reviewed and recorded into our monthly noise complaint report. We do not permit aircraft to operate outside of the normal hours 6:45 AM to 11:00 PM daily except for medivacs. Utilizing our aircraft flight tracking system, we determined that the aircraft in question was indeed a medevac and therefore approved to operate at Billy Bishop Airport.

Michael MacWilliam, Noise Management Office, Billy Bishop Airport
Incident Description, Date: June 7, Time: 2:40 am

2:40 am. Almost asleep but the airport noise woke me up again. Sounds like loud industrial motors of some kind. There seems to be helicopter noise mixed in with it. Sound is cumulative, you know. Noises added together increase the decibel level. Iím an audio engineer. I know about sound.

Incident Description, Date: June 7, Time: 3 am

3 am. Airport noise is getting louder. Sounds like trucks backing up, with loud intermittent whistles, loud banging noises like heavy equipment being unloaded, vibrational sounds of motors, could be helicopters idling on the tarmac. Quiet for a while, then bangingly loud. Whoever thought that an airport can be placed in the middle of an urban neighborhood is some kind of fool. Another sleepless night, living on the waterfront by the Toronto Island Airport.

Dear Mr. Moore:

We are currently performing maintenance to the airfield and given the nature of the airport operations some work can only be completed outside of aircraft operating hours. Wherever possible work has been completed during the day to minimize the impact to the surrounding community. The current work on Alpha Taxiway is scheduled to be completed by the end of the weekend.

Incident Description, Date: June 8, Time: 4:30 am

4:30 am. You people are unbelievable. It s now 4:30 am, and the noise from the island airport is so loud, Itís impossible to sleep. It seems there are three or four types of noise. Trucks backing up, and banging noises, combined with helicopter sounds that come and go, and loud, pulsating noises that sound like construction motors or planes idling. In between all this, it sounds like small planes flying around. perhaps the airport is too busy during the day for small planes, so private pilots are flying after midnight for their personal flying pleasure. They arenít aware of how loud they are.

Noise is cumulative, and the accumulation of all these noises are now waking me up at 4:30 am and keeping me awake. The noise is this loud inside my home. This is an assault on my privacy like Iíve never experienced before. What is wrong with you people? There is no limit to how much misery you are forcing on our formerly peaceful neighborhood.

Incident Description, Date: June 9, Time: 2:30 am, 3:30 am

3:30 am. Awakened at 2:30, and again at 3:30. IĒll be lucky to get 4 hours sleep tonight. 5 hours sleep is a good night when you live near an airport. This airport is noisy enough to drive a person crazy, and itís located in a crowded urban neighborhood. Someone is making a lot of money, and everyone else loses sleep. This is a portrait of a city in decline.

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