NAV CANADA is the air navigation service provider for all of Canada. NAV CANADA designs and publishes flight paths and procedures according to standards set by Transport Canada and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to ensure safe and efficient movement of aircraft.
Airspace around YVR
The airspace over the Lower Mainland is very confined and complex due the mountains to the north, US airspace to the south, numerous airports in the region, and a diverse mix of aircraft operating in the airspace. As a result, all areas of Metro Vancouver experience some level of aircraft over-flights. For further information on YVR aircraft routing and flight paths, please visit our FAQ page.
Vancouver Airspace Modernization Project
NAV CANADA is currently undertaking a multi-year project to modernize airspace over the Greater Vancouver Region and Southern Vancouver Island in collaboration with its business partners including Vancouver Airport Authority. The main objective of the project is to enhance safety and to modernize the airspace by introducing new procedures based on current design standards and modern navigation technologies, while reducing the industry’s environmental impacts, to ensure the airspace can safely and efficiently support future growth and the essential role that aviation plays to support communities and the Canadian economy.
As part of this project, NAV CANADA is proposing changes to approach procedures at YVR, including the addition of new satellite-based procedures known as Required Navigation Performance Authorization Required (RNP AR). The proposed changes would result in new arrival routes in YVR. The routes used by departing aircraft as well as those used by aircraft operating under Visual Flight Rules will not change as part of this project. The project will also not change how the runways are used at the airport and will not change any of the published Noise Abatement Procedures for YVR.
The new proposed arrival routes are designed to meet strict Transport Canada design criteria to ensure a high level of safety. While it is not possible to create new routes that completely avoid over-flying residential areas given the specifications of the design criteria, the local geography of the region, and complexity of the airspace, careful consideration was given to place the new routes over industrial and commercial areas, bodies of water, and less populated areas where technically feasible.
When implemented, some residents may observe changes to air traffic patterns associated with YVR arrival aircraft over their area. As a result, NAV CANADA is undertaking public consultation to ensure that communities can learn about the project and the changes for their specific area, as well as provide an opportunity for input on the proposed changes. The public consultation will run from December 6, 2022 until February 3, 2023.
To learn more about the project, proposed changes, and public consultation, please visit www.navcanada.ca/VAMP.
Airspace Change Communications and Consultation Protocol (ACCCP)
Should there be changes to the flight paths and procedures, the aviation industry is committed to communicating and consulting with the community about planned changes. The ACCCP, adopted in 2015, was developed jointly by Canadian airports and NAV CANADA to address community communication and consultation requirements related to changes to the airspace. It outlines how and when the aviation industry communicates and consults during airspace changes and defines roles and responsibilities of the parties involved.
Community Design Principles
Following the adoption of the ACCCP, the YVR Aeronautical Noise Management Committee (ANMC) identified “community design principles”, intended to help airspace designers incorporate community considerations whenever flexibility exists to minimize disturbance on communities without compromising safety.