Having lived within earshot of the airport for over three decades, I’m well aware of the ambient and acoustical quality of our environment and quality of life. As a transportation hub, we can expect to tolerate a certain level of noise. But we can also be assured that there are noise complaint boards, policies, procedures and laws to protect citizens from deleterious levels.
For example, over a decade ago, after receiving numerous complaints about the noise caused by private acrobatic aircraft, the VAA acted to ban the exercise. After that the complaints declined and the public was satisfied with normal commercial and private operations.
Over two decades ago, I participated in the required DND Environmental Assessment of helicopter flight operations from the Esquimalt base to the Sidney airport. These operations did not specify that on-the-ground hovering exercises were part of the plans.
SeaKing helicopters are one of the noisiest military helicopters and their replacements are even noisier. Not only are they loud, up to 121 decibels, but deeply penetrating at an array of frequencies known to exacerbate stress and hypertension. This is why their hovering routines and training are generally carried out away from the public on designated military bases.
Because of the especially dense quality of the air, and the propagation of different frequencies across open spaces and water, the sphere of influence is much larger here, so that, as your letter writer from Summergate Village noted, “ we often have to yell to be heard” over the barbecue.
So just suck it up, she admonishes those who disagree, and be just damn happy that the military will be here to rescue us from terrorists and tsunamis.
Ultimately, the problem arises with our government and the serious damage that it has done to democracy and environmental regulation. In attempting to re-elect our last MP, we were not only given the Gary-Go-Round, but the 443 military base was shifted from Esquimalt, the environmental review was waived, and the public was not informed about the significant health, environmental and economic impacts of these saber-rattling, military maneuvers.
J. K. Finley, Sidney