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Tri-Cities mayors concerned about new YVR arrivals flight path over their communities


The mayors of Port Coquitlam and Port Moody want Nav Canada — the organization that creates flight paths for airports across the country — to pause its plans for a new YVR arrivals route that will direct many large airplanes over their communities.

Currently, most planes that arrive at Vancouver International Airport from the east fly over Delta and northern Richmond. New proposed maps have many planes travelling over the Tri-Cities instead, in what Nav Canada is calling its first revamp of the YVR arrivals route since 2007. The agency says the new path will help it safely manage the complex urban airspace, reduce pollution and accommodate new growth. 

Port Coquitlam Mayor Brad West says he can’t any get information about what the new route will mean for residents of his city.

“The only thing we are told is there is going to be an additional number of aircraft, it’s going to be a new route, and it’s going to take those planes over very, very residential parts of our community,” said West.

He says he has asked Nav Canada to provide information on the number of planes and how low they will fly, but can’t get any answers.

“The only thing they have assured the public is that it would not exceed 55 decibels in terms of noise, however I have learned that they don’t even have a system to monitor noise levels in our community,” said West, who added he only learned about the proposed flight path changes in the past week.

Port Moody Mayor Meghan Lahti was also in the dark about the plans for more aircraft over her community until recently.

“I think our biggest issue apart from the noise is the consultation that took place, or the inadequate notification of the project,” she said.

While Nav Canada did hold several in-person and virtual information sessions, the mayors say most residents had no idea they were happening, and the consultation period ends on Friday.

“It seems they are doing this consultation just to tick a box and go through the motions. It does not seem like a genuine attempt to consult with the public who are going to be impacted,” said West.

“What I’d really like to see an an extension of the consultation period, so the community can really get some answers to some of the concerns that they have,” said Lehti.

Both mayors have written letters to Nav Canada asking for more detail about the flight plans and more time for their residents to provide feedback. West has also asked that a Nav Canada representative come to Port Coquitlam in person to address city council.

“This is something that is new, that there is no information about, and that has the potential to impact people’s quality of life, and obviously they have questions they want answered,” said West. “Someone should be making themselves available to answer those questions.” Top Stories

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