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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 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 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.

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 near 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 process is open and transparent. We are currently at the early stages of the process, which includes:

  • Notification to Transport Canada by the airport operator of the intent to make amendments or create new AZRs – COMPLETE
  • Airport operator submits proposed AZR plan to Transport Canada – COMPLETE
  • Transport Canada reviews and provides any preliminary feedback on the proposed AZR plan – IN PROGRESS
  • Public consultation (three levels) of the proposed AZR plan, with opportunities for stakeholders to provide comments
  • Airport operator reviews and compiles feedback from public consultation
  • Revised AZR 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. 

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