Now and then, West Islanders are reminded that we live next to an airport. It might be while we are in our backyards. Or maybe we can even hear it through a closed window.
A not unpleasant sound if it only happens once and a while.
Most flights seem to come in over the lake or over the industrial parks of St. Laurent. And most take off over Sources Blvd. But if you do not live in these flight paths, you can easily forget how close it is.
I know how close it is, and it has nothing to do with the noise. It has to do with the convenience.
There are advantages to living near an airport. It opens up the world to me and it is only 10 minutes away from my house. (It takes five times that amount of time to get from the door of the terminal building to the gate.)
For all of those of us living here whose businesses take us across Canada and into the States it is great to be able to text “landed” when we turn our cell phones on as we taxi to the gate and know that our loved one will pick us up outside the baggage area at about the same time it takes us to walk outside.
And for those of us who like to travel to Europe and beyond for pleasure and/or cultural stimulation it is no small consideration to think that the door to Paris or Vienna is just a quarter of an hour away.
The accessibility and affordability of air travel is one of the defining features of modern life. And it is right at our doorstep.
As I recently flew through the southern U.S., I was struck by how normal their airports were. About how people took for granted that they could fly across the country to see their family or take a vacation.
U.S. airports are like bus stations used to be.
(With the exception of the security screening, of course. Exaggerated paranoia is also a defining feature of modern life.)
I don’t know if we yet consider air travel that “normal,” but we should. A resource like this should be used as much as possible. Because of the amazing engineering miracle of jet travel we can literally go anywhere on the globe from our own airbus station right here in the West Island.
I think we lucked out.