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Airport vicinity protection area

​Important ter​​ms

Noise exposure forecast (NEF) areas: areas surrounding the airport, established by Transport Canada, to measure airport noise levels.​​​​


The Alberta government enacted the Airport Vicinity Protection Area (AVPA) regulation in 1979 to govern land use development close to the Calgary International Airport. This prevents land uses that will negatively affect airport operations, including its runway arrivals and departures, from being developed near the airport.

The regulation establishes uses that are not allowed within certain locations, identified as Noise Exposure Forecast (NEF) areas, due to potential noise impacts from aircraft flying over communities as they arrive or depart. While existing residences in the area are allowed, subdivision and redevelopment that increases the number of dwelling units is currently prohibited in the NEF 30+ areas.

View areas affected by the AVPA

Noise Exposure Forecast areas

Noise exposure forecast (NEF) areas are established by Transport Canada.  These areas are determined based on a measurement of actual and predicted aircraft noise in the vicinity of airports.  They consider how the human ear reacts to specific aircraft noise, including factors like noise volume, frequency, duration, time of the occurrence and tone. Also taken into consideration is the amount of air traffic arriving and departing, aircraft type, current runway locations and future runway needs.

Prohibited uses

Due to the increased noise impacts, certain land uses are prohibited within the different NEF areas, as shown on the chart below.

PR = prohibited use

Map Land Uses​ NEF 40+ area NEF
35-40 area
30-35 area
25-30 area
avpa prohibited use map
​View larger map
Residences PR PR PR -
Schools PR PR PR -
Day cares PR PR - -
Clinics PR - - -
Medical care facilities PR PR PR -
Halls and auditoriums PR PR - -
Places of worship PR PR - -
Outdoor eating establishments PR - - -
Outdoor exhibition and fairgrounds PR PR - -
Outdoor spectator entertainment / sports facilities PR PR - -
Campgrounds PR PR PR PR
​​​​​ Up to date as per Calgary AVPA document:

Inglewood and other NEF-30 areas

Although existing residences are allowed, current AVPA regulations prohibit certain residential developments within the NEF 30 areas. This means that:

  • Existing residential properties cannot be subdivided to create new residential lots.
  • The number of residential units on these properties cannot increase.
  • Secondary suites cannot be developed in this area.

Note: these rules apply even if the Calgary Land Use Bylaw shows your property is eligible for these forms of redevelopment.

On December 19, 2016 a report was approved by City Council which directed Administration to: 

  1. Advocate with Municipal Affairs for amendments to the Airport Vicinity Protection Area Regulation (AVPA) Regulation to allow for a range of low density residential redevelopment and small scale subdivision in all areas affected by the Noise Exposure Forecast (NEF) 30 contour area, including Inglewood, and for a clearer and simpler process for site-specific exemptions for higher intensity developments; and
  2. Consult with the Calgary Airport Authority to seek its support for exemptions for higher intensity residential development in important intensification areas within the NEF 30 contour area in Inglewood.

This direction is currently being worked on by Administration and will provide updates on this website when they become available.

Building code - acoustical requirements

Part 11 of the Alberta Building Code (ABC) 2014 contains exterior acoustic insulation requirements in buildings constructed within the Airport Vicinity Protection Area (AVPA). Exterior acoustic insulation is capable of reducing aircraft noise in buildings and can be provided in specially constructed roofs, exterior walls, windows and doors.

The current edition of the Municipal Government Act, Calgary International AVPA regulation defines the location and extent of the AVPA and specifies what land uses are permitted to be developed within.

Part 11 of the ABC only applies to buildings that are permitted to be constructed within the AVPA. New residences are not permitted to be constructed within much of the AVPA.

If a building is permitted to be constructed, different levels of noise reducing insulation are required for different types of rooms within the building. There are four levels of noise reducing insulation required.

  1. Sleeping rooms are required to have the highest level of noise reducing insulation.
  2. The second highest level is required for living rooms, dining rooms, recreational rooms and classrooms.
  3. The third highest level is required for kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms, private offices, conference rooms and meeting rooms.
  4. The lowest level is required for general offices, reception areas and other types of rooms not mentioned above.

The roofs, exterior walls, windows and doors enclosing each of these spaces must be constructed with noise-reducing features, to reduce the amount of aircraft noise that can get into the room. Part 11 of the ABC provides advice to designers on how to design the roofs, exterior walls, windows and doors in order to provide the appropriate level of exterior acoustic insulation.

The calculations needed to determine the appropriate level of exterior acoustic insulation are complex. In practice, professional engineers complete the calculations and submit a summary report or letter to The City during the building permit review process.​​​​​​​​