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Airport vicinity protection area

Proposed amendments to the Noise Exposure Forecast (NEF) contour areas

The City of Calgary, working with the Calgary Airport Authority, is proposing Council make a request to the Province to amend the Noise Exposure Forecast (NEF) contour areas within the Calgary International Airport Vicinity Protection Area (AVPA) Regulation. The NEF contours have not been reviewed or updated since 1979. Aviation regulations and technologies have changed and advanced since then. The modernized NEF contour mapping was developed to reflect these changes to aviation regulations and technologies. Updated Noise Exposure Forecast (NEF) contour mapping accurately reflect the impacts of noise from modern airport operations and the decreased noise produced by new and differing types of aircraft.  

click map for a larger view

A summary of the proposed amendments by ward, community and NEF contour can be found within this summary table.

The proposed amendments will be presented to the Standing Policy Committee on Planning and Urban Development on September 2. The committee meeting will be webcast live, beginning at 9:30AM on Wednesday, September 2. Anyone wishing to speak remotely at the meeting is invited to contact the City Clerk’s Office at to register and receive further information. You may also provide written submissions regarding the report using the online Public Submission Form .

If Council approves the resolution to request a Ministerial amendment to the AVPA Regulations, the proposed amendments will be sent to the Minister of Municipal Affairs for consideration. The proposed amendments require the approval of the Provincial Cabinet. No changes will be made to the AVPA Regulation or the NEF contours unless they are approved by the Provincial Cabinet.


The Calgary International Airport Vicinity Protection Area Regulation outlines uses that are prohibited within certain locations in Calgary, 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 not prohibited, new subdivision and redevelopment in residential areas (new higher density dwelling units) is currently restricted in the NEF 30+ areas.

2019 Changes to Restrictions

In October 2019, the Calgary International Airport Vicinity Protection Area Regulation was amended so that it no longer prohibits limited residential intensification within certain areas of the NEF 30-35 Noise Exposure Forecast protection area.

The updates to the regulation means that restrictions on secondary suites, backyard suites and low density residential (2 units mid-block and up to 4 units on corners) have been lifted for the communities of Inglewood, Mayland Heights and Vista Heights within the 30-35 NEF contour as of October 9, 2019.

The regulation amendments were developed in partnership with The City of Calgary and the Calgary Airport Authority. They aim to support the continued growth of the airport and associated logistics hub, recognizing its important role in the economic development of Calgary. They also support the continued growth and development of Calgary.

AVPA Regulation Overview


Prohibited uses

Due to the increased noise impacts, certain land uses are prohibited within the different NEF contour areas. The chart below shows a summary of prohibited land uses in the NEF contour areas, please refer to the AVPA regulation for more information.  

Residential Uses
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.

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

For information regarding whether a secondary suite can be built on your property please refer to the AVPA regulation.

The regulation now allows secondary suites to be developed within the NEF 30+ areas in limited circumstances. The suite must be located in the basement of an existing single family development. A secondary suite would still require City approvals such as a development and building permit.

= 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 Prohibited useohibited use Prohibited use Prohibited use -
Schools Prohibited use Prohibited use Prohibited use -
Day cares Prohibited use Prohibited use - -
Clinics Prohibited use - - -
Medical care facilities Prohibited use Prohibited use Prohibited use -
Halls and auditoriums Prohibited use Prohibited use - -
Places of worship Prohibited use Prohibited use - -
Outdoor eating establishments Prohibited use - - -
Outdoor exhibition and fairgrounds Prohibited use Prohibited use - -
Outdoor spectator entertainment / sports facilities Prohibited use Prohibited use - -
Campgrounds Prohibited use Prohibited use Prohibited use Prohibited use
Up to date as per Calgary AVPA Regulation:


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.


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

In 2018 the City of Calgary discussed amendments to the regulations with The Province of Alberta and the Calgary Airport Authority. Through the collaborative discussions, Administration and the Calgary Airport Authority shared their objectives, raised key issues, and assessed information related to noise complaints and potential residential growth.

Further, Administration shared its strategic objectives as outlined in the Municipal Development Plan (MDP), Transit Oriented Development Policy Guidelines and resulting objectives of the draft Historic East Calgary Area Redevelopment Plan. The Calgary Airport Authority communicated their objective of supporting the continued growth of airport operations while respecting overall community safety and well-being. On December 17, 2018, Administration presented draft AVPA Regulation amendments to Council. Council directed Administration to continue conversations with the Calgary Airport Authority and meet with affected communities.


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