St-Hubert Airport (CYHU), located in Longueil, on the Montreal South Shore, boasts three very active flight schools and a host of private pilots, commuter aircraft, as well as business aircraft of various types. All this to say that the airspace is very busy and, to some citizens at least, rather noisy and disturbing. The usually favored approach of reducing noise and discomfort by getting rid of the airport did not work in this case, but not for lack of trying. Several elected local officials and numerous citizens did understand the major economic impact of this airport on the area from the perspective of jobs directly related to the airport. Further, they also recognized the many businesspersons who use CYHUJ to visit Longueuil and the surroundings municipalities from other parts of Canada, even as far as the southern and western US and sometimes from overseas. In parallel with these political discussions, the Centre de Technologie Aérospatiale (CTA) and l’École Nationale d’Aérotechnique (ÉNA) joined hands to develop and certify a muffler for the good old Cessna C-150, the ubiquitous basic trainer in most flight schools in North America. TCCA has recently granted the certification of this muffler and the CYHU flight schools are gradually equipping their fleets with it.
The availability of this equipment alleviates a major part of the problem and reduces the restrictions under consideration with respect to flying at CYHU. Cargair was the first flight school to acquire and install the mufflers in summer 2017 on its C-150 fleet. Availability is still limited and the project to equip the fleet is progressing. Cargair views these mufflers are a very positive addition to their trainers. Cargair reports that the C-150’s equipped with the muffler climb better and higher, generate much less noise, and even experience a reduction in fuel consumption. The other CYHU schools plan to acquire the new muffler for their training fleets as the manufacturer increases production.
COPA applauds this initiative as a proud example of different groups willing to meet and discuss a particular issue and work toward a solution that allows a major community resource such as an airport and its businesses to keep operating and contributing very strongly to the local economy.