Toronto Port Authority Launches WebTrak

New Online Tracking System Enables Public to Monitor and Track Aircraft Over Homes and Businesses

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TORONTO, Sept. 11, 2014 /CNW/ - The Toronto Port Authority (TPA) today announced the launch of WebTrak, an Internet-based service  that monitors and provides information on flight paths, aircraft type, and noise levels related to all flights operating within a 30-nautical-mile radius of Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport (BBTCA). While the TPA is responsible for noise management within five nautical miles of the BBTCA, WebTrak will allow people living from Burlington to Whitby and as far north as Kleinberg to identify the aircraft flying over their homes and businesses.  

WebTrak will complement the suite of noise management tools and services already used by the Toronto Port Authority to mitigate the effects of aircraft operations on the waterfront community. The service is free to the community; will offer near-real time and historical data; can be accessed from computer, tablet or smartphone; and is available 24/7 on the TPA's website.

"The Noise Management Office at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport was established in 1995 and enhanced significantly in 2010 with the implementation of a state-of-the-art Aircraft Flight Tracking and Noise Monitoring system. The Noise Management Office works with the community to mitigate noise associated with Billy Bishop Airport and investigates complaints related to aircraft and airport operations," said Gene Cabral, Executive Vice President, Toronto Port Authority and Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport. "This tool is intended to provide members of the community with a resource that will help monitor and track the airspace above their homes and access information on the aircraft and its associated airport in almost real-time. Individuals can even file a noise complaint directly from the WebTrak interface to ensure that the complaint is routed to the appropriate airport."

"Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport has a curfew that ensures only medical evacuations and emergency flights are allowed to depart or land between 11:00 p.m. and 6:45 a.m. Further, 90 per cent of commercial flights associated with Billy Bishop Airport follow flight paths over water to reduce the noise experienced by residents on land," continued Cabral. "A portion of the complaints we receive relate to aircraft originating from or destined for other airports. We are pleased to be able to provide WebTrak to the community so that we can provide accurate information, both current and historical, on the aircraft overhead and better respond to the complaints that relate to our operations."

Two existing Toronto Port Authority noise receptors have also been incorporated into the WebTrak system, allowing WebTrak users to view noise levels near the airport transmitted on an ongoing basis. Webtrak is currently used by more than 55 airports including Vancouver, Toronto (Pearson), Copenhagen, London (Heathrow and Stansted), San Diego, and Los Angeles.

In addition to making flight and noise data available to the public, WebTrak will also provide an easier way for people to submit noise complaints. Users of WebTrak can click on a particular aircraft on the screen (colour-coded by the aircraft's destination or departure point) to log a complaint or choose to register a more general concern. This will provide the BBTCA Noise Management Office with the information required to investigate the complaint.

It is important to note that due to NAV Canada agreements, Medevac, military and police flight activities will not be reflected on WebTrak.

"As the operator of an airport located near a thriving urban community, the Toronto Port Authority works hard to be responsive to our neighbours. We have introduced several improvements over the past few years, including noise barriers and re-designed public areas, to mitigate and reduce the effects of noise from our airport's operations. WebTrak takes our efforts a step further and truly engages people to learn more about what's happening in the airspace above them," said Cabral.

Today the TPA also released its annual Noise Management Report, which reports on all complaints submitted to the Noise Management Office over the past year. Approximately 500 complaints were handled by the office in 2013, up from approximately 350 in 2012. The increase in annual complaints can be linked to an increase in complaints regarding engine run-ups, which were up by 128 complaints. To help mitigate this impact on the community, the TPA has continued to work with its main aircraft operators on compliance with approved locations for engine run-ups and the time of day that this activity is scheduled. The TPA will also complete a second noise barrier and engine maintenance and run-up noise housing area by 2016. In addition to annual reporting, BBTCA also publishes monthly noise reports on the TPA website.   

To learn more about the TPA's Noise Management Program, visit www.torontoport.com/Airport/Noise-Management/Noise-Management.aspx.

TORONTO PORT AUTHORITY (www.torontoport.com)
For more than 100 years the Toronto Port Authority has worked with its partners at the federal, provincial and municipal levels to enhance the economic growth of the City of Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area. The Toronto Port Authority owns and operates Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, which welcomes more than two million passengers each year; the Outer Harbour Marina, one of Canada's largest freshwater marinas; and, Terminals 51 and 52, which provide transportation, distribution, storage and container services to businesses at the Port of Toronto. The Toronto Port Authority is committed to fostering strong, healthy and sustainable communities and has invested more than $5.6 million since 2009 in charitable initiatives and environmental programs that benefit communities along Toronto's waterfront and beyond. TPA operates in accordance with the Canada Marine Act and is guided by a nine-member board with representation from all three levels of government.

SOURCE: Toronto Port Authority

For further information: Erin Mikaluk, Senior Manager, Communications & Media Relations, Toronto Port Authority, Tel: (416) 863-2065, Cell: (647) 298-0544, E-mail: emikaluk@torontoport.com

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