Topic: Weekend Runway Alternation Program 2018

Summer 2018

As Canada’s busiest airport, Toronto Pearson understands its operations and growing demand for air travel have an impact on surrounding communities, which is why we are always working towards reducing noise impacts. One recent example is our three-year collaboration with NAV CANADA on six ideas that made up A Quieter Operations Roadmap.

The fifth of the six ideas was a Summer Weekend Runway Alternation Program. Many international airports use this kind of program to provide residents with relief from aircraft noise by rotating runway usage during periods when fewer aircraft are arriving and departing. These rotations were scheduled in advance so that residents knew when to anticipate relief from aircraft noise.

In 2018, we tested the Summer Weekend Runway Alternation program for eight weekends.

Testing the Weekend Runway Alternation Program helped us validate the anticipated benefits to communities. It also allowed communities to provide us with informed feedback on their experience during the test.

Test details

Dates: Weekends (Saturdays and Sundays) from July 28 to September 16, 2018

Time: 6:30 am to midnight

Scope: East/west runways only

The survey period ran from September 24 to October 9 and is now closed. Thank you to all residents that provided feedback on the program overall.

Test results

Following the test, community members provided feedback through a phone or online survey between September 24 and October 9.

We publicly communicated the 2018 test analysis and community response at our public meetings:

Analysis supports a longer summer trial because:

  • operational data showed that relief is possible during the weekend mornings and late evenings

  • analysis also showed that there is scope to improve the amount and consistency of relief provided

  • community response indicated that relief was meaningful and non-relief weekends were no more impactful than regular operations

What areas were involved in this test?

Communities highlighted on the map experienced changes in aircraft operating overhead every other weekend during the test.

  • Group A communities are highlighted in blue and had the same relief weekends
  • Group B communities are highlighted in green and had the same relief weekends

During relief weekends, residents in these communities should have experienced significantly reduced aircraft traffic levels compared to their current experience. During non-relief weekends, residents in these communities either saw the same amount of aircraft operating overhead, or a potentially increased frequency compared to their current experience.

Communities outside of the highlighted areas should not have experienced changes to levels of aircraft traffic overhead during the test. The north/south runways were not included in the program but, like always, were used if the weather conditions or safety dictates a change in operations.

Contact us

Residents with questions can contact us by:

Question and answer guide

Share this page