Soundscape management is a priority for ADM Aéroports de Montréal. It aims to mitigate the noise impacts of air operations and to maintain a harmonious cohabitation with neighbouring communities.
To implement a more effective management approach and champion best practices in this area, ADM developed in 2019 an action plan to optimize soundscape management and promote social acceptance of its activities.
The action plan was part of an online public consultation to collect comments from citizens of YUL Montréal-Trudeau's neighbouring communities regarding the plan. Results of the consultation are now available.
Update on the Action Plan:
February 2022 - The priorities of the action plan were reviewed in 2021, taking into account the results of the consultation held in 2020 as well as human and financial resource constraints in the context of the pandemic. Non-prioritized actions will be resumed from 2023.
Given that the majority of participants in the consultation expressed the need to improve tools and responses to complaints, efforts have been made to improve tools already available that allow citizens to be heard.
In addition to WebTrak, which allows you to view flight paths, noise levels at noise measuring stations and submit a complaint, we have introduced a new feature that makes it easier to quickly submit complaints via cell phone. It is the “Submit now” one-click button to send a complaint, which is linked to the aircraft movement because it is part of the automated system. (See the Newsletter on this feature for more information).
In terms of responses to complaints, we understand that citizens want to be better informed about flights that do not comply with noise mitigation measures and exemptions. In 2022, we plan to implement a new section on our website where this information can be accessed, with a quarterly publication.
Reducing operations outside operating hours is a priority for ADM and much attention is being paid to reducing operations during restricted hours. Although air traffic is being greatly affected by the pandemic, this work is continuing.
We have also taken the first steps in developing a ‘Fly Quiet’ program, which involves benchmarking criteria at other airports to determine the criteria and a scoring system for YUL.
Actions to improve the distribution of air movements on the two runways have been postponed to 2023 because the rehabilitation of the north runway could not be completed in 2020 and 2021 due to budgetary restrictions following the drastic reduction in aviation activities.
We also noted an interest in the work of the Soundscape Advisory Committee. Since 2014, a summary of the meetings has been published on ADM’s website. In September 2021, the members of the committee agreed to continue the dissemination of the work in the current way. However, committee members continue to explore other ways to report on their work and ADM remains open to hearing their proposals.
The following table lists the plan’s actions as well as an update of the timelines.
Table - Actions and Timelines
THE ACTION PLAN
The 2019-2023 Soundscape Management Action Plan is composed of some 20 actions in eight categories:
Encouragement for the Use of Quieter Aircraft;
Noise Abatement Procedures (landing and takeoff);
Noise Measurement and Soundscape Reports;
Relationships with Neighbouring Communities;
Preferred Runways System.
1. COMPLAINTS MANAGEMENT
Soundscape management around airports is governed in Canada by the Aeronautics Act and the Canadian Aviation Regulations. Transport Canada is the agency responsible for ensuring compliance with the rules for controlling and mitigating noise generated by air traffic and has the power to impose sanctions on pilots and carriers who contravene these rules.
Under its lease with Transport Canada, ADM is responsible for handling noise complaints, among others.
1.1 Establish a Commitment for complaints management
The Commitment to managing soundscape-related complaints explains the operating procedures in place, the handling of complaints, the analyses, and the follow-ups that may result. The Commitment - Management of Soundscape Complaints is available online.
1.2 Implement a new methodology for analysing complaints
Facilitate the process for filing and processing complaints by putting online WebTrack, a tool that displays flight data information, with a ten minutes delay. It makes it easy for citizens to track aircraft and submit a complaint.
2. NIGHTTIME OPERATIONS
YUL Montréal-Trudeau is open 24 hours a day for turboprops and jets weighing less than 45,000 kilograms. For jets over 45,000 kilograms, normal operating hours are from 7 a.m. to midnight for takeoffs and from 7 a.m. to 1 a.m. for landings. However, ADM can grant exemptions for medical emergencies, delays outside the carrier’s control, adverse weather conditions, and for certain scheduled flights. These are three (3) scheduled flights to Toronto and Miami that provide access to connecting flights to other destinations and, during the winter season, flights that operate a double rotation to sun destinations.
A strict internal policy is applied in this regard. Exemptions are conditional on the application of existing noise reduction measures.
ADM has no intention of increasing the number of night flights. On the contrary, our goal is to reduce the number of flights during restricted operating hours.
ADM, jointly with the air carriers, is currently working on a plan to reduce night flights during restricted periods.
3. QUIETER FLEETS
ADM wants to encourage airlines to use the quietest aircraft to operate at YUL Montréal-Trudeau.
3.1 Promote the use of quieter aircraft
Target the poorest-performing aircraft in the soundscape and encourage airlines to use quieter aircraft. Tighten usage restrictions, especially at night.
3.2 Implement a Fly Quiet Program
Compare airline performance regarding noise disturbance management and recognize improvements made. Publish a comparison chart online.
4. NOISE ABATEMENT PROCEDURES
Air carriers and pilots are required to comply with noise abatement procedures in effect at YUL Montréal-Trudeau airport in order to reduce noise generated by air traffic.
4.1 Identify best practices
Identify and analyze best soundscape management practices at 30 international airports.
4.2 Form a technical working group
Bringing NAV Canada and airlines together to implement best practices in soundscape management.
4.3 Implement a local code of practices for pilots
Review and implement a new local code of practice for pilots to reduce the impact of noise on communities during arrivals, departures and ground movements.
4.4 Evaluate, optimize and monitor the use of existing procedures
Promote and monitor compliance with noise reduction procedures.
4.5 Develop and implement new procedures
Establish new noise reduction procedures. Determine approach and takeoff procedures with NAV Canada and airline partners to reduce aircraft noise.
5. PREFERRED RUNWAYS
Although the number of aircraft movements has remained relatively stable over the past 15 years, ADM is committed to reducing the impact of aircraft noise to maintain a harmonious cohabitation with neighbouring communities. One of the solutions being considered is to look at landing and takeoff patterns to reduce the impact of noise on communities.
5.1 Assess the possibility of establishing a runway alternation system
In conjunction with NAV Canada, explore options for establishing a runway alternation system.
5.2 Ensure better distribution of air traffic on parallel runways
Together with NAV Canada, study the impacts of better distributing aircraft movements on the two parallel runways.
6. NOISE MEASUREMENTS AND REPORTS
ADM aims to be the primary source of reliable and credible information on the soundscape at YUL. ADM intends to communicate its noise measurement and complaints management data to the public on a regular basis.
6.1 Publish reports and indicators on the soundscape
Publication and posting online reports and indicators about the soundscape associated with aviation activities on a regular basis.
6.2 Noise measurement system
Noise levels at noise measurement stations are posted on WebTrak. The LAMax value is displayed. Should another value be added?
7. LAND USE
ADM wants to position itself as one of the stakeholders in the development around YUL Montréal-Trudeau. In constant contact with municipalities and boroughs, ADM informs local authorities, landowners, developers and the general public about airport activities and soundscape-related issues. ADM is also discussing with municipalities and boroughs what can be done to manage the soundscape.
7.1 Support the City of Montréal’s implementation of a noise observatory
ADM is committed to participating in and supporting the implementation of a noise observatory initiated by the City of Montréal.
7.2 Track real estate developments around the airport, assess the impact, and make recommendations in collaboration with the cities and boroughs
ADM wants to implement a system for tracking real estate development around YUL Montréal-Trudeau and provide all relevant information to municipalities as part of their development projects.
7.3 Raise awareness among real estate developers and buyers in collaboration with the cities and boroughs
ADM will provide real estate developers and buyers with all relevant information related to aviation activities at YUL Montréal-Trudeau.
ADM wants to be an active partner in its relationship with neighbouring communities. It is proposing various measures to ensure it listens to citizens and stakeholders and provides them with all the information related to soundscape management.
8.1 Consult cities and boroughs in the paths of runways about the action plan
Conduct an information tour with cities and boroughs in the paths of runways to present the 2019-2023 Action Plan on Soundscape Management and gather the concerns and comments of elected officials.
8.2 Publicizing the work of the Soundscape Advisory Committee
Post online the results of work being done by the Soundscape Advisory Committee.
8.3 Composition of the committee
Assess the representation on the Soundscape Advisory Committee.
8.4 Set up a good neighbour committee with citizens
Create and implement a good neighbour committee with the attendance of citizens.