Iqaluit council calls on Baffinland to cut late-night plane noise at airport

Council calls for charter flights of Baffinland’s 737-200 aircrafts to fly only between 6:30 a.m. and 10:30 p.m.

Iqaluit city council wants Baffinland Iron Mines Corp. to limit its chartered flights of the 737-200 aircraft in Iqaluit to between 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. because of noise levels. (File photo)

By David Lochead

Concerned by residents’ complaints about late-night noise at the airport, Iqaluit city council wants Baffinland Iron Mines Corp. to limit its charters of 737-200 aircraft.

Councillors voted Tuesday to ask Baffinland to limit flights to the hours between 6:30 a.m. and 10:30 p.m., and also to ask airport operators to come up with a plan for noise abatement.

Deputy Mayor Kyle Sheppard, who proposed the plan, said he has heard numerous complaints about noise caused by the 737-200 aircraft, which are used primarily by Baffinland for charter flights up the island.

He said an early morning departure by one of the aircraft a few weeks ago spurred enough local conversation that “we at least need to make an attempt to deal with it.”

“They’re an incredibly noisy aircraft,” Sheppard said of the 737-200s.

Early morning or late-night 737-200 flights are not an everyday occurrence, he noted, and weather can impact noise levels. However, he added, noise from the aircraft is substantial especially during the summer when people’s windows are open.

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In an email to Nunatsiaq News on Wednesday, Baffinland head of communications Peter Akman said the company was not aware of city council’s motion before it was tabled at Tuesday’s meeting.

“We are currently working within the guidelines set out by the airport and will continue to follow those guidelines going forward,” Akman wrote.

“Our schedule is designed to balance the travel schedules of the people we move from all corners of Canada and our operational needs.”

As of Friday, Akman said Baffinland hadn’t been asked by the city to consider changing its flight schedule at the Iqaluit airport.


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(22) Comments:

  1. Posted by NoISe on

    As a resident I am happy that our city has recently solved every single actual problem in the city and have moved onto this. How dare Baffinland use our 300 million dollar airport at their leisure. Its better to just listen to the peace and quiet and drunk fights after 1030pm, who wants to listen to an airplane make noise!

    • Posted by Kuujjuaq on

      I get woken up sometimes 2-3 in the morning by Air Inuit revving the twin otters engine at the airport. i don t mine , other people have to make a living too, got better things to do then whining.

  2. Posted by Descartes on

    16 years ago, before a quarter of Nunavut’s population was even born, the first Tote Road was built into Mary River. 9 years ago, before 10% of Nunavut’s population was even born, the early revenue phase of Mary River began. Here is a thought; if late night flights of southern workers into Mary River is such a bother, maybe someone in Iqaluit may want to start taking mine training for nunavummiut a bit more seriously than the weak platitudes and no action seen so far. Honestly, what are they waiting for. At the very least it could offer them more sleep. There are 9 or so decades of mining ahead in Mary River assuming someone does not invent a replacement for steel. As ridiculous as it would be to anything except in reference to the GN and College here, the clock is ticking.

    • Posted by Iron miner on

      Great point there’s so much jobs for everyone but we are okay with southerners who come up and filled those up

      Seems like nobody is watching or caring on the jobs for Nunavut’s peoples. How many $$$ have we lost to outside job taker’s?????

      Cmon GN do something, welfare isn’t the solution let’s getting the jobs done by our own PEOPLE

      • Posted by Another Iron Worker on

        BIM job postings are offered to northern indigenous job applicants, aka P1 candidates, first. If a suitable P1 candidate cannot be found, then and only then are southern applicants considered.

    • Posted by Meh on

      …either that or he is doing his job by listening to his constituents and acting on their behalf whether he agrees with their complaint or not.

  3. Posted by High-Flying Concerns, But Grounded Issues Await Attention! on

    While noise complaints are important, but perhaps it’s time to revisit our priorities Councillor Sheppard….. Iqaluit faces a myriad of pressing concerns that the city council has direct jurisdiction and control over. Issues such as needed utilidor repairs, road maintenance, sanitation, public saftey, and strategic land-use planning for the construction of new homes and businesses are paramount. These matters not only affect the day-to-day life of every resident but also contribute to the long-term growth and development of Iqaluit.

    Throughout his tenure, Councillor Sheppard appears to have concentrated a significant portion of his energy on what some might consider non-pressing issues. While the noise concerns are valid, the council should have a broader perspective on community development, ensuring they address the most pressing needs of their constituents.

    The story underscores a deeper issue: it’s crucial for elected officials to prioritize challenges that directly impact the livelihood and well-being of the residents they serve! As voters, it’s our responsibility to hold them accountable and ensure they’re addressing the most pressing and actionable challenges faced by the community.

    Councilor Sheppard has spent his entire council career dealing with non issues it’s time to vote him out.

    • Posted by Meh on

      Councilor Sheppard is one of the few in council who says or does anything. He has taken a key role on matters such as development, COVID-19 and water management among others.

      You spent 3 paragraphs betching about Sheppard yet you fail to name a single non-pressing issue he has championed at the expense of something more important.

      Someone just likes to see their own words in print.

  4. Posted by James on

    Kyle Shepard is a whiner….baffinland spends millions in nunavut and he says the airplane noise is an issue. Maybe the people that complained to him should look in the mirror before whining also.

    • Posted by ArrowJohnny on

      Sheppard would whine about everything while he lived in Rankin/Yellowknife as well.

      Someone who complains, typically incessantly and irritatingly
      Someone who complains habitually, especially about trivialities
      A person who is anti-fun, or prevents others from having fun
      A faultfinder, quibbler or nitpicker

    • Posted by Meh on

      As someone who actually read the article, I see Councillor Sheppard raised the motion after receiving complaints from citizens AKA doing his job.

  5. Posted by Anaanamous on

    Oh my goodness!
    “ However, he added, noise from the aircraft is substantial especially during the summer when people’s windows are open.”

    CLOSE THE DAMN WINDOW LAZY PERSON, some of us need to work so we make noises too. Some ppl man.

  6. Posted by Tired on

    Oh my god, give me a break.

    I can’t wait for the ice to fill all the potholes because I know you fools won’t do it.

    These sort of issues must be super convenient for our councilors because when their heavy handed virtue signaling fails they can point at Baffinland and tell their constituents that they fought as hard as they could for them but the big evil corporation won nonetheless.

    When the city came by to pick up my building’s garbage last week they only took six bags. Six bags out of a six foot tall pile of garbage in a shed used by 30 units. But ya, lets screech and complain about noise at the only viable entry point to our city.

    Is there a single wrinkled brain at City Hall? Or just glassy smooth ones impervious to critical thought?

  7. Posted by alex on

    lol, anyone remember when First Air used to run a 727 freighter and it would overnight in Iqaluit on Friday’s after double freighter days, then leave at around 6am-630am on Saturday morning’s waking the whole town up…..737-200 is nothing compared to that beast of a plane haha.

  8. Posted by Tired on

    I was woken up by economic activity last night! Should I call Kyle?

    • Posted by Meh on

      Councilor Sheppard is on record supporting Baffinland. Here he is doing his job by responding to complaints from citizens. Numerous other deadheads on council would do well to get their voices heard as often.

      • Posted by John K on

        Politicians love quixotic ventures like these because when they inevitably fail they can say they pointed their lance at the big scary windmill but lost heroically.

        If they actually fixed anything then they wouldn’t be able to campaign on fixing those things next election.

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