Strategic Plan Interim Recommendations Report (June 2022)

In December 2021, District Council approved the scope for the preparation of the Squamish Airport Strategic Plan (the “Strategic Plan”). HM Aero Aviation Consulting (“HM Aero”) was subsequently retained by the District in March 2022 to prepare the Strategic Plan in alignment with Council’s approved direction. The scope outlined by the District for the Strategic Plan follows a four-phased approach:

1. Interim Recommendations Report;
2. Draft Strategic Plan;
3. Community Engagement; and
4. Final Strategic Plan.

The following document, referred to as the Interim Recommendations Report, has been prepared to address the first phase of the Strategic Plan – the preparation of interim recommendations for implementation in 2022 and 2023 to address priority items identified by the District and HM Aero. The objectives for the Interim Recommendations Report are as follows:

1. Articulate a clear and transparent profile of the Airport based on its current conditions, including its regulatory context; governance, administration, and operations; tenants; social and economic benefits; and financial performance.

2. Supported by a research and evidence-based approach, provide recommendations for areas of focus identified by the District including matters of aircraft noise; ambient air quality; apron operations; administration and operations; rules and regulations; and tenant lease rates; and

3. Combine all recommendations into a practical implementation strategy.

Click here to download the pdf.

Strategic Plan Interim Recommendations
Data Collection to Support Future Decision Making
  • District to implement a radio-based aircraft movement recording system to collect data on the
    number of movements that occur per day / per year. This system will not be used to track the
    flight paths of aircraft.
  • An online form will be launched on the District’s website for residents to submit noise concerns,
    including the date and time, concern type, and a description of the disturbance.
  • The District will analyze noise concerns to identify trends and problem areas.

Ensure Tenant Awareness of Voluntary Noise Guidelines 
  • All pilots at the Airport are to sign a form acknowledging their awareness of the voluntary noise abatement procedures in the Canada Flight Supplement.
Proposed changes to the Voluntary Guidelines within the Canada Flight Supplement 
  • Amended voluntary noise abatement measures (Canada Flight Supplement) - The Canada Flight Supplement’s existing voluntary noise abatement procedures are recommended to be kept as-is.
  • Additional voluntary provisions are proposed as follows:
    • Visiting aircraft seeking to conduct circuit training are to request District permission.
    • Change proposed to limit circuit training on a voluntary noise abatement basis before 8:00 AM and after 8:00 PM and by itinerant aircraft.
    • These changes will be published through the December 29, 2022 Canada Flight Supplement update, and a Notice to Airmen was issued on August 11, 2022 advising pilots of these changes.
Community Outreach
  • The District’s website will be updated with proactive noise management information, including the noise management provisions, the role of Transport Canada and the District, and
  • explanations of common sources of noise.
  • An email-based resident mailing list is recommended to notify residents in advance of scheduled predetermined periods of increased aircraft noise (e.g., search and rescue training, wildfire suppression operations).
Airport Ambassador
  • Onsite management (during busiest periods) to inform visiting aircraft of noise abatement measures, administer the aircraft tracking system and track rules and regulations (ground activities) violations, respond to community queries.

Land Use Covenants
  • Explore notifications on title of new developments to inform new buyers of the potential for disturbance from Airport.
Safety Items (2023)
  • Obstacle limitation survey and tree removal
  • Frangible signage installation 
Lease Negotiations 

Although the initial Airport Strategic Plan scope endorsed by Council in 2021 contemplated the District extending the current month-to-month leases on a short-term basis (2 years), pending completion of the Final Strategic Plan and while the longer-term lease extensions for the existing tenants were analyzed and evaluated, it was recommended not to extend the leases of the existing tenants on a short-term basis at this time until the District has:

  • Reviewed the impacts of the Interim Recommendations this summer; and
  • Determined clearly how the results from the summer season effectively support noise mitigation measures throughout future lease negotiations.

It is contemplated that the short-term lease renewal process originally contemplated for this summer will occur later this fall.