Noise Management

The management of airport noise is an important consideration in the operations of the Squamish Municipal Airport-Don Patrick Field (“Airport”). The District is currently developing a long-term Strategic Plan for the Airport and recently endorsed Interim Recommendations based on the current operations.

The Interim Recommendations also provide detailed context on the District’s role and jurisdiction in managing airport noise. In summary:

  • The Federal government has exclusive jurisdiction over aeronautics.
  • The District cannot establish its own rules and regulations that conflict with Federal jurisdiction.
  • Recommended flight path guidelines are established in the Canada Flight Supplement (CFS) which is administered by NAV Canada.
  • The CFS identifies a preferred:
    • South departure flight path that directs aircraft away from heavier populated areas in Squamish;
    • Flight departure path to the North (less populated) when wind conditions are safe.
  • These flight paths are a guideline. They are administered by Transport Canada and not the District.
  • The preferred flightpath to the South follows a non-standard procedure which is not flown at most other airports and may be challenging for new or visiting pilots due to wind, mountainous terrain and conflicting traffic.
  • As a result, the preferred flight path is voluntary and it is at the discretion of the pilot to ensure safety based on the pilot’s skill and weather conditions.
  • The District’s jurisdiction at the Airport is focused on managing ground operations, maintaining infrastructure and administering leases with tenants.
  • Current leases require tenants to use reasonable efforts to adhere to the CFS guidelines. This is subject to the flightpath challenges identified above.

Two new voluntary provisions have been created in 2022 with respect to noise management. The intent of these voluntary procedures is to limit circuit training activity (i.e., repeated take-offs, landings, and touch-and-go’s) before 8:00 AM, after 8:00 PM, and by itinerant aircraft not based at Squamish Municipal Airport. These new provisions will be published in the Canada Flight Supplement on December 29, 2022 and notice has been provided to pilots of these changes as of August 11, 2022.

These proposed procedures are voluntary and it is the responsibility for each pilot to familiarize themselves. Residents may continue to experience aircraft overflights before 8:00 AM and after 8:00 PM – only circuit training flights are proposed to be limited, and other operations such as arrivals and departures may continue to occur. During unrestricted hours (after 8:00 AM and before 8:00 PM), circuit training will continue to be permitted by aircraft based at Squamish Municipal Airport.

In order to support noise management in the future, the District is undertaking initiatives identified in the Interim Recommendations including:

 

Noise Concern Submission Form

Anyone experiencing noise impacts associated with flight operations at Squamish Municipal Airport can fill out the Noise Concern Submission Form.  Based on the context provided above, the District will not be investigating or responding to each submission.

The data collected will be analyzed to identify the geographic areas impacted by noise and frequency/times of day of impacts.

 NOISE CONCERN SUBMISSION FORM

 

Aircraft Movement Tracking

The District has installed a flight tracking system to record the date and time of all take-offs, landings, and other aircraft movements at the Squamish Municipal Airport.

The Noise Concern Submission Form and Aircraft Movement Tracking data will be analyzed by District Staff and may support potential future management decisions that include, but are limited to revising hours of operations, flight path guidelines, and future leasing activity at the Squamish Airport.

 

Safety Concerns

Anyone observing a potential aviation safety concern can forward relevant data (e.g., date, time, aircraft registration, nature of concern, pictures) to Transport Canada at aviation.pac@tc.gc.ca. If you are reporting a potential aviation safety concern to Transport Canada, it is requested that you copy District Staff at cmilan@squamsih.ca for the municipality’s awareness.

Please note that Transport Canada will only investigate instances of potential regulatory infractions and will not investigate noise concerns. Noise concerns can be directed to the District through the Noise Concern Submission Form provided above.

 

Airport Ambassador

The District has hired an ‘Airport Ambassador’ from August to mid-October to provide an onsite presence at the Airport, predominately on Friday through Sunday and on a limited basis on the remaining days. The Airport Ambassador will be responsible for the following tasks

  • Increase awareness of noise mitigation measures
  • Respond to community inquiries.
  • Administer the movement tracking system
  • Administer the email notification system
  • Monitor the online form

 

Pilot Acknowledgements

The pilots of the current tenants at the Airport will be asked to sign a form acknowledging their awareness of the noise management objectives of the voluntary/preferred flight path published in the CFS and the language included in leases.  

Email Notice System

If you would like to be added to the District’s airport noise resident email list, to be informed about anticipated heightened periods of activity at the Airport or abnormal operations that may generate interest or concern (ie. filming, Search and Rescue training, high intensity rotary-wing wildfire suppression operations). please enter your email address below:

Email addresses collected through this Email Notice System is only collected for the purpose of creating an email list to send information regarding heightened periods of activity or abnormal operations at the Squamish Municipal Airport. The collection, use and disclosure of personal information is subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIPPA). 

This information will only be used to send Squamish Municipal Airport related information by the District of Squamish and will not be shared with any other parties. The information collected will be retained and disposed according to the District of Squamish Records Management Bylaw No. 2622, 2019 and the District of Squamish Records Classification and Retention Schedule. If you have any questions, please contact the Manager of Legislative Services at 604-815-5023.