Residents of a sparsely populated area east of the Ontario community of Cayuga are complaining about the noise being generated by the two light airplanes used to carry skydivers aloft from the Cayuga East airport (CAF2), a grass airstrip located on a farm approximately five kilometres east from the centre of the village of about 1,500 people.

The County of Haldimand (the municipal authority), in response to the complaining neighbours, is attempting to pressure Transport Canada (TC) to intervene against Skydive Ontario, the operator of the skydive centre. They say they are ‘bombarded daily with noise’ throughout the summer. Neighbours have also been lodging their complaints directly with the federal regulator, as well as with local MP Diane Finley, local MPP Toby Barrett and their local council.

County mayor Ken Hewitt is finding his hands are tied due to the paramountcy of federal jurisdiction over matters of aviation, meaning that local regulations concerning land use, noise, building permits, etc. cannot be applied.

“It is apparent that the operation of this business is upsetting and intrusive on many levels,” said Hewitt. “This has led the county to consider possible avenues to regulate the operation of the business to address the issues raised by residents.” Among other things, the County is taking issue with a hangar Skydive Ontario had built on the site, for which the Haldimand County Council complained to TC. The mayor is also complaining about the alleged “…discharge of a firearm on a property used for aviation purposes.”

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