REPORT ON PEARSON AIRPORT CONSTRUCTION ACTIVITIES
Last Updated: May 1, 2017
Below is a timeline of events pertaining to the Toronto Pearson Airport Construction.
|March 28, 2017||Greater Toronto Airport Authority (GTAA) publishes a construction advisory on their website|
|GTAA also sends an email to elected officials, in which it was stated, “Throughout this runway rehabilitation work, aircraft taking off and landing at Toronto Pearson may be required to use alternate runways”. Also stating that if constituents contact their offices with any concerns about unusual aircraft noise, to direct them to GTAA’s Noise Office.|
|April 4, 2017||First set of calls/emails regarding aircraft noise concerns start coming into MP and Councillor Offices. Almost everyone complaining that the noise was unbearable and at very odd late hours through the night. Many of them tried calling GTAA’s Noise Office prior to reaching out to their MP/Councillor.|
|MP Peter Fonseca requests for a call with GTAA management.|
|April 5, 2017||MP Peter Fonseca and GTAA discuss about constituent concerns regarding aircraft noise. Advocating on behalf of affected residents, MP Peter Fonseca questions GTAA about lack of an advanced and transparent communication package regarding construction. During this call, GTAA mentions that it is not in their control, but NAV CANADA is the deciding authority. MP Peter Fonseca requests for their NAV CANADA contacts from GTAA to talk to them directly regarding the construction noise concerns.|
|MP Peter Fonseca discusses with Hon. Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, regarding airport construction noise concerns from his constituents.|
|April 6, 2017 to April 9, 2017||MP Peter Fonseca talks to many of his affected residents to understand their concerns. Key issues discussed:
· Residents not having received any prior notice regarding the current construction
· Residents were not aware of any consultations conducted prior to the construction
· Residents’ fear that this would become a precedent to GTAA using the North-South runway going forward, even when the rehabilitation gets completed
· Many residents discussed about health concerns, in particular for seniors and children
· Owing to late night and early morning flights, residents were having sleep pattern issues that affected their day time work
· Most mentioned that they have been residents for more than 20-25 years
· Residents also raised concerns about property values
|April 7, 2017||As a follow-up to MP Peter Fonseca’s call with GTAA, an email is sent to MP Peter Fonseca to brief him on the rehabilitation project.
Excerpts from the GTAA email:
“We had expected a more balanced use of the available runways. We did not anticipate that the North/South runways would be used to the extent that they have been, impacting communities affected by those runways more than expected.
We are now going to be rolling out a more comprehensive communications program to affected communities beginning this week. We’ll be using a mix of social media, print and digital ads, media outreach to communicate with residents. Through this program we hope to:
· Apologize for a lack of advance communications to affected communities on construction impacts
· Explain the necessity of this project for our operations, and that this runway has not required this type of work for over ten years, since 2005
· Clarify the timelines of this temporary project, explaining that the first two phases of the project are expected to be complete by mid-May, so as to avoid the summer months, and the third will be taking place in Fall 2017
· Explain that we are working with NAV CANADA to encourage a better balance of use of the available runways, and with airline partners to then encourage maximum use of available runways”
|April 10, 2017||MP Peter Fonseca’s office reminds GTAA about the pending contacts for NAV CANADA. GTAA assures stating “Yes, we will get the NavCanada contacts info over to you asap”.|
|April 13, 2017||MP Peter Fonseca discusses with Minister Garneau’s office the kind of concerns raised by his constituents. Informs Minister’s office that he will talk to NAV CANADA first to understand what they have to say and keep the Minister’s office informed|
|Owing to the fact that GTAA never got back with their NAV CANADA contact person, MP Peter Fonseca requested Minister Garneau’s office for some contact person at NAV CANADA|
|MP Peter Fonseca talks to NAV CANADA about airport construction/rehabilitation|
|April 18, 2017||MP Peter Fonseca sends letters advocating on behalf of his affected constituents to GTAA, NAV CANADA and Minister Navdeep Bains, along with copies to Minister Garneau’s office
Excerpt from Letter sent to Hon. Marc Garneau:
“Dear Honourable Minister Garneau,
I am writing today to advocate on behalf of my constituents in Mississauga East-Cooksville. For the past number of weeks, they have been experiencing undue hardship from the volume of air traffic flying over their homes, owing to Toronto Pearson Airport’s ongoing runway 05/23 construction. The primary concerns that my constituents have raised are:
· The residents were not informed of the commencement of the construction and the change in flight paths in advance
· Most of these residents have lived for more than 20-25 years in these impacted communities and they say “this is the worst it has ever been”
· The affected neighbourhoods are experiencing high-volume flights every minute of every day, almost 24/7
· The schedule runs from 11pm to 3am, with a short reprieve until 5.30am and then again from 5.30am until 6.30am
· These neighbourhoods are inundated with flights at heights from 350’ to 1000’ with alarming decibel levels
· This has negatively affected their health and quality of life
· Many seniors and hardworking residents are having difficulty with sleep and productivity at work and much little relief while at home
· There’s also fear amongst residents that this could set a precedence and affect the resale values of their homes
After many meetings and calls with GTAA, NAV CANADA and the Ministry of Transport, my understanding is that a more comprehensive communications program is being rolled out. Though this is a great progress, it still doesn’t address the primary concerns of the impacted communities.
Having spoken to you and your office personally, I would kindly request that GTAA, NAV CANADA and the Ministry of Transport work with the community to find a better and more balanced solution to my constituents’ more than valid concerns.”
|April 19, 2017||Community Environment & Noise Advisory Committee (CENAC) Meeting. Including MP Peter Fonseca, three Members of Parliament attended this CENAC meeting to support and advocate on behalf of their constituents.
Details regarding this CENAC meeting can be found at GTAA’s website:
|April 20, 2017 to April 28, 2017||MP Peter Fonseca talks and meets with many affected constituents to brief them on the CENAC Meeting as well as inform them about the scheduled Public Town Hall on May 27th. Also informs them that as soon as the other MP office confirms the location, he will keep them updated.|
|April 21, 2017||MP Peter Fonseca takes a conference call with Councillor Chris Fonseca and GTAA, where GTAA provides updates about NAV CANADA study and the work done by Helios, as well as the Resident panels that GTAA was putting together for June 2017|
|MP Peter Fonseca confirms that he is fine with meeting GTAA at their location, along with other MPs|
|As a follow-up to MP Peter Fonseca’s call with GTAA, they forward proof of Unaddressed Ad Mail drop, with no dates of when it was requested. The attached Ad Proof shows up only CENAC meetings from June 21st and not of April 19th.|
|April 25, 2017||MP Peter Fonseca talks to Minister Garneau’s office to update them on the most recent discussions and to request for additional contacts for NAV CANADA and Helios to schedule an urgent meeting. Minister Garneau’s office provides some contacts, but requests MP Peter Fonseca to confirm with NAV CANADA for actual contacts|
|MP Peter Fonseca sends letter, also signed by 2 other MPs, to CEO of NAV CANADA requesting for an urgent meeting before May 5th.|
|MP Peter Fonseca requests NAV CANADA for email IDs for specific NAV CANADA and Helios team members, to forward scanned copies of letters requesting urgent meeting.|
|April 26, 2017||In response to GTAA, MP Peter Fonseca details all GTAA Email communications with his office.
Excerpts from MP Peter Fonseca’s response to GTAA:
“To summarize, honestly there’s a lack of trust that’s highly prevailing here. All of the offices of elected officials have heard from our constituents on how GTAA has not been trustworthy at all. As much as trust that we, the elected officials had when we initiated the discussion, through these multiple conversations and such emails, that’s fast fading too. The top priority should ideally be to build up the trust and relationship not only with the elected officials, but with the 100s and 1000s of families that are deeply affected by this construction, primarily owing to lack of timely communication or proper consultation.
Now moving forward to our community town hall meeting, we can hopefully ‘turn the page’ by having a more open and transparent communication with our affected residents.
And yes of course I am looking forward to working with you, if this is genuinely going to help my constituents. That’s the whole reason I took the first step to reach out to you to talk to you, because I trusted you.
I am copying this email to others that have been involved in our discussions. I would also like to keep you informed that a copy of this email will be forwarded to Minister Garneau’s office, for their records.”
This email also is also copied to Councillor Chris Fonseca, other MPs involved, NAV CANADA. Also forwarded to Minister Garneau’s office for their records.
|NAV CANADA reverts with email IDs for their CEO and Helios team|
|NAV CANADA also informs that the public comment on Helios study is extended to May 31st
Excerpts from NAV CANADA email:
“At the April 19th CENAC meeting some residents indicated that they were not aware of the deadline for public comment to the Helios study and wanted the opportunity to provide their views. NAV CANADA has therefore asked Helios to extend the public comment period for its current review to May 31, 2017 to give increased opportunity for interested residents to submit their views and comments. This extension will be communicated later this week but I thought Mr. Fonseca would appreciate knowing it was coming.”
In response, MP Peter Fonseca appreciates the progress, and lets them know that he hopes that an effective communication package will go out to all affected residents.
|MP Peter Fonseca forwards requests for urgent meeting with NAV CANADA CEO and Helios|
|April 27, 2017||Helios team responds stating they will need time to discuss the request with their customer NAV CANADA.|
|MP Peter Fonseca responds stating NAV CANADA should already be aware that the urgent meeting request was made to Helios|
|NAV CANADA meeting gets scheduled for Tuesday, May 2nd in Ottawa at their location|
|MP Peter Fonseca requests NAV CANADA for specific information and details ahead of meeting
Excerpts from MP Peter Fonseca’s response:
“Also, they are fine with hearing from you about Helios first, but few items that the MPs are looking for from you ahead of the meeting would be:
· Background Information: any historical planning and strategy related documentation on current Pearson construction shared between Nav Canada and GTAA
· RFP process followed to assign the research project to Helios (Including any Terms of Reference and Agreement details)
· Details on communication sent to MPs and / or to the office of Minister of Transport by Nav Canada with respect to the construction and Helios study
· Any information on consultations that Helios had with community groups – Midtown Toronto area or all other areas”
|April 28, 2017||Helios team reverts informing that NAV CANADA team can cover topics related to Helios’s Independent Toronto Airspace Review during the May 2nd meeting.|
|Helios also shares some documents through their website:
|MP Peter Fonseca informs Helios that NAV CANADA has assured to schedule a teleconference with Helios if the May 2nd meeting does not answer their questions. Also cc’ed to NAV CANADA|
|On noticing an out-of-office response from NAV CANADA CEO, MP Peter Fonseca checks with NAV CANADA regarding the attendee list for May 2nd meeting|
|NAV CANADA reverts with a letter from CEO conveying his regrets for the meeting. And providing a list of attendees|
|MP Peter Fonseca responds stating that since the urgent meeting request was made to NAV CANADA CEO, everyone was under the impression he would be available, but that they understand he’s not available for the time frame requested. And that if a follow-up is required after May 2nd meeting, it can be scheduled for a time when the CEO will be available|
© 2017 Peter Fonseca. All rights reserved.