Noise Mitigation

The Nanaimo Airport is committed to being a good neighbour and working to manage airport noise while balancing the region’s need for safe, convenient air travel.

The Nanaimo Airport facilitates commercial, industrial and recreational activities by providing passenger connectivity and air cargo access. Our operations support critical services such as medical supply delivery, medical transportation as well as charters, and over-night cargo services.

Noise associated with an airport can be attributed to a number of causes including aircraft take-offs and landings as well as engine run-ups (tests performed on aircraft engines after maintenance to ensure safety) and general noise from ground service equipment.

While the benefits of our facility are far reaching we are aware of the potential negative impacts of aircraft noise on the surrounding community. In an effort to reduce noise impact on neighbours from arriving and departing aircraft, YCD has established a noise mitigation program.

Reporting a Noise Inquiry

Do you have a noise inquiry about aircraft noise? You can tell us about it in a number of ways:

  1. By our Noise Inquiry Form – Many residents prefer to have responses to their concerns provided to them in writing.
  2. By calling 250-245-2157 ext 315

When reporting a noise concern, it is important to provide as much information as possible so that the event can be investigated and responded to in the most accurate manner. The information needed for a thorough investigation is:

  • Date and time of event
  • Location and description of event
  • Aircraft information if available

The Noise Mitigation Program

YCD is undertaking a noise mitigation program to look at ways to reduce or avoid aircraft noise disturbance where possible to area neighbours.

To help manage the noise from airports in Canada, NAV Canada – the organization that manages air traffic control in Canada – publishes the Canada Air Pilot (CAP) which outlines noise sensitive areas and procedures to reduce the impact of noise that must be followed by all pilots when taking off or landing at a Canadian airport.

In fall 2013, YCD struck a Noise Mitigation Roundtable to assist with the development of a comprehensive noise mitigation strategy.  While the Roundtable is an integral component in the development of the YCD Aeronautical Noise Mitigation Strategy, the Roundtable is consultative in nature and does not have executive authority.

The role of the Roundtable is to:

  • Provide a forum for the exchange of relevant information amongst all Roundtable members.
  • Enhance awareness and understanding of aeronautical noise mitigation issues with Roundtable members.
  • Discuss, analyze and provide advice on the development of a noise mitigation strategy for YCD
  • Provide recommendation on noise mitigation practices to guide efforts of YCD as they develop a noise mitigation strategy

The Good Neighbour Reminder of Noise Sensitive Area

The Nanaimo Airport implemented a Good Neighbour Program in June 2013. The program targets all non-scheduled aircrafts operating from YCD.

One part of the program is to remind that pilots to avoid flying over areas identified as noise sensitive, as set out in the Canada Flight Supplement, or that they fly over them at an altitude not less than 1000 feet above ground level (agl). It should be noted that the Noise Sensitive Areas (NSA), are not restricted air space, and that compliance is voluntary.

Pilot reminder signage have been posted at all man gates at YCD, a total of 22 signs were posted.

What happens with the noise inquiry?

There are several reasons why residents contact the Nanaimo Airport to inquire about aircraft noise. Some are concerned about a specific operation, new trends, or aircraft noises not previously noticed. All concerns that are received are forwarded to the management staff for further investigation.

When reporting a noise concern it is important to provide as much information as possible so that the event can be investigated and responded to accurately. The information needed for a thorough investigation is:

  • Date and time of event
  • Location and description of event
  • Aircraft identification number or tail number

NAC’s management staff will investigate the details of the event. The Airport Commission does not have enforcement authority. If upon investigation we suspect that there has been a violation of regulations contained within the Canadian Aviation Regulations the event and supporting information is sent to Transport Canada Civil Aviation Enforcement for further investigation.

If there is further information that can be provided to the resident, a member of the management staff will contact them as soon as practicable.

The personal information needed to log the concern is the resident’s:

  • Name
  • Address
  • E-mail (if applicable)
  • Phone number

Personal information is treated confidentially.

Why do Altitudes and Flight Paths seem to vary?

Aircraft take off and land into the wind for safety reasons, therefore selection of the “active” runway is dependent on not only which runway is active but the wind speed and direction.

Altitude restrictions vary for different aircraft and are designed for both safety and noise mitigation considerations. Canadian Aviation Regulations prescribes 1,000 feet as the minimum altitude that an aircraft may over-fly a built up area (500 feet for water), unless the aircraft is conducting a take-off, approach or landing (other exemptions may apply).

Flight paths leading to Nanaimo Airport have evolved as new navigation technologies and better aircraft performance have allowed for greater flight path definition.

Why does the aircraft noise seem extremely loud some days?

Atmospheric Conditions or air pressure such as air temperature, humidity or cloud cover, can affect how loud a plane sounds. Atmospheric pressure can also account for why noise from the airport seems louder on some days than others.

Why does the aircraft departure/ arrival direction vary?

Consistent with safe operation, air traffic controllers will assign runways to divert as many departures and arrivals as possible from flying over noise sensitive residential areas. Strong tail or cross winds, and/or icy runways will dictate which runways can be used for arrivals and departures.

Why do I see the same aircraft flying repeatedly in our area?

The Nanaimo Airport is home to many private pilots, Air Cadets and flights schools. To obtain a private Pilot’s License, students must obtain experience doing circuit training – take-offs and landings. The Canadian Coast Guard also uses the facility as the twice annual re-call training site.

Due to the amount of training, the majority of aircraft complaints received are linked to aircraft flying over the noise sensitive areas surrounding the Airport.

Please see the calendar of Events for scheduled flight training sessions. (Link to calendar???)

Noise Inquiry Form

Comments or questions are welcome. We look forward to hearing from you.
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