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Airport Zoning

Vancouver Airport Authority is committed to timely and authentic community consultation as we strive to sustainably meet the air travel needs of British Columbia

With a focus on achieving excellence in safety, efficiency and optimized land use, Vancouver Airport Authority is always looking ahead as part of meeting both the short- and longer-term needs of the province and the region.


The Airport Authority has identified the potential need for additional runway capacity within the next 30 years to meet growing traffic demands. This has been reflected in our external land use plans for more than 10 years, including Master Plan 2027 and the current consultation process for Master Plan 2037, where we have identified two locations for a potential future runway. These plans have involved community and stakeholder consultation, including extensive conversations with City of Richmond.


As a first step in protecting for a potential future runway, Vancouver Airport Authority recently notified Transport Canada of its intention to apply for changes to its Airport Zoning Regulations (AZR) – the zoning in areas surrounding the airport that ensures aircraft can safely operate. The current AZR was last updated in 1981. 


This is the beginning of a robust, federally-mandated application process governed by YVR’s regulator, Transport Canada, and includes a comprehensive public consultation process.


What are Airport Zoning Regulations?


AZRs are federal regulations enabled under the Aeronautics Act that serve to limit the height of buildings and other structures around the airport to ensure safe aircraft operations. AZRs are in place to protect current aircraft operations, but also to ensure that future development in the vicinity of the airport remains compatible with plans for future runways. 


Transport Canada is responsible for the creation, amendment and enforcement of AZRs.


Transport Canada’s AZR amendment process is open and transparent. We are currently at the very early stages of the process, which includes:

  • Notification to Transport Canada by the airport operator of the intent to make amendments to the current AZR –  COMPLETE
  • Airport operator submits detailed amendment plan to Transport Canada – IN PROGRESS (anticipated to occur in late fall 2017)
  • Transport Canada reviews and provides any preliminary feedback on the proposed amendment plan
  • Public consultation (three levels) of the proposed amendment plan, with opportunities for stakeholders to provide comments
  • Airport operator reviews and compiles feedback from public consultation
  • Revised amendment plan submitted to Transport Canada, incorporating public feedback

Transport Canada requires that public consultation for new AZRs must take place on at least three levels:  local land use authorities; potentially affected land owners; and, any potentially impacted Indigenous groups.  


What does consultation for a new runway involve?

If in the future Vancouver Airport Authority decides it is necessary to build an additional runway, a separate lengthy and comprehensive multi-year process of environmental, noise, community and construction consultation will take place. All affected stakeholders will have the opportunity to voice their thoughts and give their input. Following this consultation process, any decisions regarding usage and operation of a new runway, including noise and time restrictions, will be determined by the regulator – Transport Canada. 


Vancouver Airport Authority remains committed to timely and authentic community consultation as we strive to sustainably meet the air travel needs of British Columbia.


How can I get involved?

We are hoping you already have been!  As part of our Master Plan 2037 consultation process, we asked the public if there was a preference for the Foreshore or Close-In South Parallel Runway. This is an important issue for our community and stakeholders and we look forward to public consultation at the appropriate time.

To provide feedback, you can visit or go to You can also email us directly at We look forward to continuing the conversation.


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