The Small Claims Court of Quebec has ruled in favour of a group of citizens who persuaded a judge that their property values fell since the establishment of a small airfield (CU2) that hosts ultralights and other light aircraft.

The judge heard complaints from the neighbours who said they no longer enjoyed being outside due to the ‘excessive’ noise generated by the aircraft. An expert reportedly supported the complaining neighbours, estimating their properties had lost between 7.5 and 10 percent of their values. One neighbour, who reportedly operates home-based recording studio, said he had to shift recording sessions to the night time in order to avoid aircraft noise.

Guillaume Narbonne, a COPA Lifetime Member who founded ULM Québec and established the ULM Québec Recreation Centre in rural Saint-Cuthbert last year, was ordered by the court to pay an average of $15,000 to each of his 10 neighbours. In addition to the $150,000 compensation package, he is also ordered to pay court costs.

Narbonne’s airfield project met with community protests as soon as he acquired the land in 2016. Municipal authorities tried but failed to stop the project, despite support from the local MNA and MP, due to federal aeronautical law taking precedence over lower-level jurisdictions.

Just last August Quebec’s ULM community celebrated the successful opening of the centre and its numerous associated facilities, with an upbeat story and photos appearing in the October edition of COPA Flight.

COPA is following the case closely as it develops and will assist as and when appropriate.