Vancouver airspace modernization

Nav Canada Press Release | November 19, 2019

Estimated reading time 2 minutes, 20 seconds.

Nav Canada — the country’s civil air navigation service provider – is in the early phases of a multi-year airspace modernization project focused on improving and sustaining the safety of aircraft operations in the Greater Vancouver Region and southern Vancouver Island in anticipation of air traffic growth, while reducing the industry’s environmental impacts.

About the Vancouver Airspace Modernization Project: The airspace in and around the Greater Vancouver Region and southern Vancouver Island is utilized by a large mix of operators including major domestic and international airlines, regional and commuter passenger transport, general aviation and flight training, floatplanes, para-drop, sightseeing/photography and helicopter operations.

Most of these operations are based out of several airports/aerodromes located in a 50 nautical mile radius, including Vancouver International (CYVR), Victoria International (CYYJ), Pitt Meadows (CYPK), Boundary Bay Airport (CZBB), Langley Regional Airport (CYNJ), Abbotsford International Airport (CYXX), Vancouver Harbour Flight Centre (CYHC), Victoria Inner Harbour Airport (CYWH), Nanaimo Airport (CYCD) and Bellingham International Airport (KBLI). In addition, this complex mix of operations, the airspace has experienced significant growth in traffic over the last five years.

As a result, the goals of the phased and multi-year Vancouver Airspace Modernization Project will be to develop concept-of-operations options that:

  • ensure the continued safety of operations in anticipation of​ further growth through improved airspace structure and procedures,
  • reduce the environmental impacts of aircraft operations, including greenhouse gas emissions and community noise exposure,
  • modernize the airspace system through such tools as performance based navigation,
  • balance the needs of stakeholder groups and reduce constraints where possible, and
  • seek alignment with long-term plans at the region’s airports and operators.

The complete terms of reference document detailing information on the project goals, timelines and stakeholder engagement processes can be found online here.

Broad-based public consultation will be undertaken over the course of the project once concepts of operations have been developed and will provide opportunities for communities across the region to provide input.

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