Why the Manitoba government is reviewing aircraft noise levels in Winnipeg

By | August 11, 2020

WINNIPEG — The Manitoba government said it has issued a request for proposals for an aircraft noise study for the Winnipeg Richardson International Airport.

The announcement was made Tuesday afternoon, and will also see the province investing in a review of existing land-use policies for the airport.

“This is an important and long-overdue step forward for Manitoba’s largest airport and the area surrounding it,” said Municipal Relations Minister Rochelle Squires in a statement. “The plan’s noise exposure forecast map, and the policies surrounding it, have not been updated for more than 25 years.”

The Airport Vicinity Protection Area Secondary Plan was enacted in 1994, and aims to mitigate potential land-use conflicts associated with noise from airport operations, the province said.

“We are reducing barriers to development and economic growth by ensuring that information for decision making is current, while reducing planning approval and permitting delays and protecting the airport’s 24 hour operations,” said Ralph Eichler, Economic Development and Training Minister, in a statement. “Up-to-date, scientific data on noise in the vicinity of the airport is crucial to help guide decisions on the type and scale of development that can occur in the area while fostering the airport’s continued growth.”

In a statement, the Winnipeg Airports Authority commended the province for beginning the review.

“This review is an opportunity to chart a new course for our province that sees optimal use of existing infrastructure for further residential and mixed-use development while protecting the community’s air connectivity, all founded on best practice and the latest scientific evidence,” said WAA president and CEO Barry Rempel.

In May, Winnipeg City Council voted to send a proposed development near Polo Park to the municipal board.

Shindico and Cadillac Fairview are proposing residential developments on the old stadium site and around Polo Park Mall.

However, the WAA had concerns the development would lead to more noise complaints.

Aircraft noise assessment is measured through noise exposure forecast, with Transport Canada considering residential development incompatible with airport operations in areas that exceed specific noise thresholds.

-With files from CTV’s Jeff Keele.

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