We’re coming in for a landing, finally, after a few weeks of debate on the activity at the Victoria International Airport.
Letters have been arriving at the gates quite steadily since the Peninsula News Review’s story about helicopter noise issues first lifted off late last year. It seems the article unearthed some people’s long-checked baggage and lately the debate has been making the rounds on the carousel.
It’s time to put your seats in the upright position and stow those tray tables. While we dislike having to curtail public discourse, it might be time to roll the debate into the hangar — for now.
We’ve heard most sides of this story and much of it boils down to which side of the aisle someone is sitting on.
On your right, if you look out the window, you will see supporters of the local military, aircraft in general and those willing to put up with airport noise — as people have since the airfield was opened in the 1930s.
On your left, there’s the people for whom the noise is a constant bother and there may be nothing anyone can do — apart from closing the airport or making it a “virtual” airspace.
And where people are seated — along the aisle, at the window or in the middle — affects their outlook on the voyage.
One thing we know for sure in all of this — the airport isn’t going anywhere. In many respects, we all have to get used to that fact.
The Saanich Peninsula is a transportation hub and a gateway for the rest of Vancouver Island. That has its benefits — and it has its drawbacks. The living space we have must be looked after and that means retaining jobs and industry, balanced with managing its impact on residents. As the airport grows and new aircraft fly in, that means consulting with the public and looking to mitigate noise where it can be helped.
Hopefully everyone has enjoyed their flight. We look forward to hearing from you again.