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Airport studying air quality, noise levels

Studies to be included in new business plan

Oshawa Municipal AirportBy Dave Flaherty/The Oshawa Express

Potential air and noise pollution around Oshawa’s airport are under review this summer.

An air quality assessment and noise study are underway at the Oshawa Executive Airport, located at 1200 Airport Boulevard.

Both studies will be performed by RWDI Consulting Engineers and Scientists using monitors installed at the airport’s four runways.

RWDI will continue the studies through mid-September.

The air quality assessment will measure particles that contribute to air pollution along with lead and nitrogen dioxide. It will also consider the impact of aircraft traffic and airport-related activity.

Results will be compared to those of the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks’s ambient air quality criteria.

Noise study data will compared with aircraft movement data to review trends in noise relating to volume, duration, and movement and aircraft type.

According to a media release, this data may be used in the development of new noise and traffic management strategies to address concerns from surrounding neighbourhoods.

As previously reported by the Oshawa Express, a number of area residents have been vocally displeased with the airport in recent years.

In December 2017, about 150 residents turned out at a public meeting meant to discuss numerous airport issues.

However, it became clearly apparent those in attendance were strictly there to get answers on increased traffic and noise at the airport.

It is estimated traffic at the Oshawa airport will grown to more than 100,000 movements annually, more than double the 2014 numbers of 51,758.

One resident said he witnessed planes flying in barely over the 60-foot trees on his property, and counted as many as 48 planes in less than one hour.

In reaction, city council resolved air quality and noise and traffic control studies should be part of the airport’s business plan review.

The review is scheduled to be completed in late-2019 and early-2020, and will include the results of the current studies.

More complaints were by airport officials at meetings in March and June 2018.

Airport manager Stephen Wilcox said due to these concerns, efforts were made to engage better with the community.

“Certainly part of the strategy we had was to improve the overall communications of the airport, and we’ve done that,” Wilcox says.

With that said, Wilcox says many residents are still steadfast in their concerns.

“That’s why we consider both of these initiatives to be very important,” he adds.

The last air quality study at the airport was completed in 2015.

It indicated the air quality near the airport met acceptable standards in all categories.