Redirect the Flightpath of the Buttonville Municipal Airport (Flying Academy)

Redirect the Flightpath of the Buttonville Municipal Airport (Flying Academy)

443 have signed. Let’s get to 500!
Petition to
Omar Alghabra (Transport Canada) and

Why this petition matters

Started by Nicole Thier

The tax-paying residents of Richmond Hill (and surrounding affected areas) have a right to peace and safety within their own homes, and are trying to end the many problems caused to us by this Markham-operated airport. Please note that this petition does NOT aim to attack or "shut down" the Buttonville Municipal Airport, NOR does it target all aircraft operations within this facility (i.e.; emergency and other travel airplanes/helicopters). Specifically, we are concerned with redirecting the low and repetitive pattern of the flightpath (seemingly for teaching purposes) that negatively impacts our neighbourhoods.

An increasing number of small, loud airplanes from Buttonville Municipal Airport (and its flying school) are circling repeatedly, directly, and closely over our homes, on a flightpath that is:

  • CONTINUOUS (up to 18 hours per day) 
  • TOO LOW (observably far below 1000 feet)
  • Often operates during POOR VISIBILITY/WEATHER CONDITIONS AND TIMES (i.e.; overcast skies, high winds, nighttime)
  • Allows the use of airplanes built as long ago as the 1970s, and with use of LEADED GAS and NO MUFFLERS
  • Allows for MULTIPLE airplanes to fly closely together on the path at once
  • INTERFERES with regular aircrafts

These small airplanes have limited power and therefore, proper safety and noise regulations need to be in place. In addition to safety concerns, many residents are consistently disturbed by the roaring of engines which can be both heard and felt from inside their homes (even with closed windows and doors). Those with houses close to or directly under the low and repetitive flightpath cannot even enjoy their backyards. According to Buttonville Airport, they are currently permitted to fly in this pattern seven days a week, from 6:00am to midnight (18 HOURS EVERYDAY)... this is both an excessive amount of time to create this amount of intrusive noise, as well as an unnecessary risk of danger to Richmond Hill residents who constantly have low-flying planes buzzing overhead (i.e.; recalling the report of one airplane which took off from Buttonville and, within minutes, crashed into a Richmond Hill home on Spadina Avenue in 2001). Additionally, the Buttonville Municipal Airport DOES NOT have an air traffic control tower to coordinate/monitor safety conditions and prevent accidents. As such, there have been several more incidents over the years (as recently as January 16th, 2023, when a Buttonville airplane crashed directly onto 16th Avenue between Woodbine Avenue and Highway 404 during daylight hours, as well as on April 20th, 2022, when a Buttonville airplane crashed just beside Highway 404 and 16th Avenue at night; either incident had a high potential of causing fatalities, not only to the airplane pilots and passengers, but those on the ground in vehicles and on foot), and this is a daily concern of safety and noise for everyone. While we continue to pay the high Richmond Hill taxes, this Markham airport profits off of these violations.

A record of past and active incident reports related to this airport can be found by clicking HERE and searching for "BUTTONVILLE" in the filter.

Even though this airport is apparently operated through the town of Markham, its airplanes (many from the flying academy) consistently fly outside of this jurisdiction and into Richmond Hill spaces... WE should have a say on this matter. This petition simply calls for this repetitive training flightpath to be directed to areas that are AWAY from houses and residential spaces - NOT over them. It is unfortunate enough when an airplane's pilot and/or passengers are injured or killed in a crash; it is even more of a tragedy when this also takes the lives and well-beings of innocent bystanders on the ground.

These concerns have already been directly reported to:

  • Buttonville Municipal Airport
  • Transport Canada (Omar Alghabra)
  • Richmond Hill By-Law
  • Office of the Richmond Hill Mayor (David West)
  • City of Markham 
  • Former Richmond Hill Ward 6 Councillor (Godwin Chan)
  • Richmond Hill MPP (Daisy Wai)
  • Richmond Hill MP (Majid Jowhari)

...However, none of these efforts have progressed into real change thus far, as it is constantly pushed aside as a "federal issue". We need more voices!

Please show your support by SIGNING this online petition to redirect the Buttonville Airport flightpath. And if you can, please spread the word by SHARING this petition with your family, friends, neighbours, and local contacts! With enough signatures, this petition will be presented to Transport Canada, all members of Richmond Hill parliament, and Buttonville Airport, itself.

  • Should you kindly decide to sign, it would also be very helpful to add a reason/comment which includes your experience with this issue, as well as the general area of your residence which is being negatively affected (for example: "Bayview and 16th").
  • Names and emails will not be used or publicly shared anywhere.

Please use the following link to easily share this petition with others:


Thank you so much for your help!

443 have signed. Let’s get to 500!