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Airport Zoning

Vancouver Airport Authority is committed to timely and authentic community consultation as we strive to ensure we are aligned with the future growth and needs of our community and economy.

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 long-term needs of British Columbians.

Our 2037 Master Plan identifies the locations for two future runway options. These locations were determined based on extensive studies and consultations with our Musqueam partners, community, and other stakeholders. While an additional runway is not needed to accommodate short- to medium-term traffic demand, we need to protect our ability to plan, construct, and operate a new runway in the future.

As a first step in protecting our options for a potential future runway, Vancouver Airport Authority notified Transport Canada of its intention to apply for new Airport Zoning Regulations (AZRs) to replace the current AZRs in place since 1981. The 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.

Enactment of the new AZRs does not constitute approval to construct a new runway. Approval of a new runway would be subject to a rigorous environmental assessment and review process. This assessment would be undertaken in the future at the time when it is determined that an additional runway is needed to accommodate the growing demand of air traffic services at the airport.

Enactment of new AZRs follows a robust federally mandated process lead by Transport Canada, the regulator responsible for aviation in Canada. This process includes public consultations (Canada Gazette Part I), which are tentatively planned to occur in Fall 2022.

To provide the public with information about this project and to better understand the level of interest and engagement Transport Canada is hosting advanced consultations and inviting comments on the new AZRs from July 4 to September 29, 2022. Input captured during this phase will inform the consultation plans for Canada Gazette Part I. Consultation materials are available at

Transport Canada’s AZR process is open and transparent. The main stages include:

  • Notification to Transport Canada by the airport operator of the intent to make amendments or create new AZRs - COMPLETED
  • Airport operator submits proposed AZR plan to Transport Canada - COMPLETED
  • Transport Canada reviews and provides any preliminary feedback on the proposed AZR plan – COMPLETED
  • Public consultations of the proposed AZR plan, with opportunities for stakeholders to provide comments – JULY 4 TO SEPTEMBER 29, 2022
  • Transport Canada reviews and compiles comments from public consultation
  • If required, the airport operator revises the proposed AZR based on public comments and submits materials to Transport Canada
  • Transport Canada enacts the new AZRs and repeals the current AZR in place


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