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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I secure a GA/BA runway slot at YVR?

Slots for GA/BA traffic can only be booked via the Online Coordination System (OCS). Operators must secure their slots directly via the OCS tool, or via their Fixed Base Operator (FBO). Please note, bookings made via the FBO are at the discretion of the FBO and not guaranteed. Only operators who are very infrequent users of YVR’s facilities can seek FBO assistance in booking slots. Infrequent users are defined as an operator who has less than 3 movements per week.

Do I need an OCS account to book a runway slot?

If you operate over 3 movements or more per week at YVR, and your FBO is unable to book your slots, then, yes, you will need to obtain your own OCS account. Please visit the ARO landing page  on to learn how to apply for an account. 

What is my booking window to secure a runway slot?

Based Operators (operators with YVR as their home base, or aircraft physically based at YVR), have a 14-day window to book slots. Itinerant Operators (operators who are based physically elsewhere from YVR) have a 3-day window (72 hours) to book slots.

What is the window of validity for my slot time?

For GA/BA operators the slot validity window is +/- 1 hour of confirmed slot time. This is subject to change and will be communicated if any changes are made to the slot validity window. 

What happens if my desired slot time is not available?

If your requested slot time is not available, the OCS tool will suggest two alternatives before and after your original requested time. Once the offer is selected and accepted, the system will confirm the time and generate the confirmation and slot ID.

When do I need to update my slot time?

Within reason, any planned changes to your slot time must be updated in OCS to ensure that the updated times are available. Any slots which will not be used must be cancelled and returned to the pool for other users. YVR is monitoring unused/uncancelled slots as a part of the compliance and performance program.

Are flights being monitored for compliance?

Yes. YVR is monitoring all users for slot compliance and performance. For GA/BA operators, YVR uses a combination of tower log EXCDS and MLAT data from NAV Canada and compares it to the slot filing in the ARO to determine on-time performance. 

Are Runway slots unique to YVR?

No. Airport slots are a global standard implemented at congested airports to reduce delays and congestion and improve on-time performance. YVR is an IATA Level 3, Slot-Coordinated Airport. YVR’s traffic has developed to a point where runway demand must be managed due to peak period demand exceeding runway capacity. 

Are GA/BA operators the only traffic segment that require slots?

No. All users of YVR’s Runway system require pre-approved slots prior to operation. All commercial, charter, cargo, and GA/BA operators must book slots, as part of YVR being an IATA Level 3, Slot-Coordinated Airport. For example, Air Canada and WestJet combined operate over 500 slots per day, all of which have been approved through the IATA slot allocation process.

What is the difference between a runway slot and my flight plan?

Runways have finite capacity, and the runway slot program manages this capacity from a preplanning perspective. The runway slot program allocates flight movements over 15-minute and 1-hour periods, and ensures these periods are not oversubscribed. The flight plan, which is managed by NAV CANADA, is allocated day-of, and takes real-time operational factors into consideration. At times, day-of operational situations can further reduce runway capacity, which may result in a discrepancy between an approved slot and flight plan.

Why is it that I have a confirmed slot time, but I am being asked to hold due to YVR flow control measures or Air Traffic Control Flow Measures (ATCFM)?

The runway slot program ensures that the runway does not get overloaded from a planning perspective. All runways have a maximum threshold of movements that they can accommodate over a 15 minute and one hour period. The runway slots meter the runway on an advance planning basis to ensure that the runway system capacity can manage the planned demand. However, during day-of operations adverse conditions (weather, staffing, outages), can reduce the overall runway system capacity resulting in a requirement to implement a flow program from YVR (such as a Demand Management Program (DMP) ) or Air Traffic Control Flow Measures (ATCFM) from NAV Canada such as a Ground Delay Program (GDP). 

Are there any exemptions to slot requirements?

Yes. There are few exemptions to runway slot requirements. These exceptions are listed on the ARO landing page on For example, live Medevac operations, aircraft using the water runway, and helicopters flying VFR, are exempt from runway slots. (Please refer to the full list at the bottom of the ARO landing page).

During IRROPS (i.e. extreme weather event) what happens to slots and slot monitoring?

During IRROPS, slot monitoring will be noted for compliance but not performance. Specifically, this means that all operators will still be required to file slots, under all circumstances; however, performance will not be prioritized with respect to compliance during IRROPS. This is so the day-of operational teams have a clear picture of the planned flight demand to actively and successfully manage the IRROP event. 

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