Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Wee-hours noise relief at hand for city's SW

Runway repaving set in 7 weeks, says WAA

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Many residents of southwest Winnipeg have been complaining to Winnipeg Airports Authority about the increased air traffic over their neighbourhoods.

JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Enlarge Image

Many residents of southwest Winnipeg have been complaining to Winnipeg Airports Authority about the increased air traffic over their neighbourhoods. Photo Store

If you live in the southwest part of Winnipeg and you're tired of large cargo planes rumbling overhead in the dead of night, try to hang on for another seven weeks.

That's when the repaving of the north-south runway at James Armstrong Richardson International Airport, which started at the end of April, will be completed.

Felicia Wiltshire, spokeswoman for the Winnipeg Airports Authority, said the phone for its noise complaint line has been ringing off the hook lately, particularly since the warmer temperatures arrived and people started leaving their windows open at night.

"We can't say if it's the same people with repeat complaints or an increase in unique complaints. There's no doubt that people are noticing the movement of planes," she said.

Unfortunately, no amount of complaints or whining is going to change the schedule at a 24-hour airport with just one runway at its disposal.

"People ask us, 'Can't you do something, like change flight schedules?' That's not something we can do. We need to keep functioning 24 hours a day. When one runway is down, we've only got one runway to turn to," she said.

Wiltshire said the only variable now in airport traffic is the direction of the wind. "Planes take off into the wind and land into the wind. On days with the nice south winds, that's when people in River Heights notice the noise when the planes are taking off into the south," she said.

The $8.2-million construction project is part of regular maintenance at the airport and is being entirely funded from WAA revenues.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 10, 2014 A2

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Updated on Tuesday, June 10, 2014 at 7:55 AM CDT: Corrects that planes land into the wind

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