City council approves noise bylaw exemption for airport concert

The sign in front of Sarnia's Chris Hadfield Airport. (Photo from the City of Sarnia's facebook page)

A drive-in concert at Sarnia’s Chris Hadfield Airport later this month has been cleared for takeoff by city council, as long as some pre-flight checks are done.

During a special virtual meeting Thursday morning, city council conditionally approved a two-hour noise bylaw exemption to 11 p.m. for “Rocking the Runway” on October 23 and 24.

Councillor Bill Dennis supported the move.

“I note that no community objections were filed and therefore this can only be described as a win-win situation,” said Dennis.

Dennis wondered if there’s a way to reduce the red tape for initiatives that don’t draw objections.

CAO Chris Carter told Dennis that he and the clerk have the authority to approve a noise bylaw for a small event, like a festival of lights, but not large events.

“This is more of a checks and balances system to council and this is probably the most respectful process that staff can go through with events such as this,” said Carter.

Mayor Mike Bradley added the bylaw has been developed and refined over the years to deal with large events, like Bayfest, and he thinks it’s important council signs off on them.

The organizer still has to obtain written approval from Lambton Public Health and receive confirmation from the airport operator that there are no concerns from an operational perspective.

An emergency management plan and COVID screening app protocol for all attendees have already been implemented.

The event is being presented by Bluewater Borderfest Music Festival, CHOK, and COOL 106.3.