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Airport vicinity protection area

*NEW* 2021 changes to the AVPA

In August 2021, changes were approved to the AVPA through a Ministerial Order. The changes include adjustments to the Noise Exposure Forecast (NEF) contour areas and lifting the prohibition of Places of Worship and Halls & Auditoriums in the NEF 35 contour.

This update modifies:

  • Noise Exposure Forecast Contour Areas that apply to parcels of land in Calgary
    • This includes an exception provision for 55 parcels to maintain lower contour NEF use restrictions when the changes moved properties to a higher level of restriction.
  • The Protection area that designates parcels the Airport Vicinity Protection area applies to; and
  • Allows consideration of Places of Worship and Halls & Auditoriums to be located in Noise Exposure Forecast Contour 35-40 areas.

These changes come into effect immediately. The updated regulations are available from the Alberta Queen’s Printer Online Catalogue.

The AVPA

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 and Vista Heights within the 30-35 NEF contour as of October 9, 2019. Subsequent 2021 amendments carried forward these changes for the applicable parcels in these communities.

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

We are in the process of updating the AVPA NEF contour map to reflect the changes approved by the Minister of Municipal Affairs.

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
NEF
30-35 area
NEF
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 - - -
Places of worship 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:
http://www.qp.alberta.ca/documents/Regs/2009_177.pdf

 

Building code - acoustical requirements

Part 11 of the National Building Code (Alberta Edition) [NBC (AE)] contains exterior acoustic insulation requirements for buildings constructed within the Airport Vicinity Protection Area [AVPA]. Exterior acoustic insulation can reduce aircraft noise in buildings and can be provided in specially constructed exterior walls, roofs, windows and doors. The AVPA Regulation outlines uses that are not allowed in certain locations in Calgary, identified as NEF Contour Areas, due to potential noise impacts from aircraft flying over communities during arrival at or departure from the Calgary International Airport. Part 11 of the NBC (AE) only applies to buildings that are permitted to be constructed within the AVPA.

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

  1. Sleeping rooms, classrooms and teaching rooms are required to have the highest level of noise reducing insulation.
  2. The second highest level is required for living rooms, dining rooms and recreational rooms.
  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 and spaces not mentioned above.

Exterior walls, roofs, windows and doors enclosing each of these spaces must be constructed with noise-reducing features. Part 11 of the NBC (AE) provides advice on how to design these elements to provide the appropriate level of exterior acoustic insulation. Places of worship and halls & auditoriums will typically fall under Points 3 and 4 above, designers should be aware of this when designing these building types. The following are some examples of construction methods which are permitted under Part 11 for these buildings:

a) Exterior Walls: 12.7 mm gypsum board, vapour barrier, 38 × 89 mm studs with a minimum 50 mm mineral wool or glass fibre batts, sheathing and 20mm cementitious stucco.
b) Roofs: 12.7 mm gypsum board, minimum 75 mm insulation batts, flat roof joist and beam construction with built-up roofing membrane.
c) Windows: Increased thickness of both glass and interpane spacing for double glazed units.
d) Doors: 44mm thick steel door with foam or glass-fibre insulated core (no glass permitted in door).

The calculations needed to determine the appropriate level of exterior acoustic insulation are complex. In practice, professional engineers complete these calculations and submit a report or letter to The City during the building permit review process, and this  will be the case for a Change of Use application where existing construction is in place. As part of the Development Permit circulation process, the applicant will be advised that a building applied for within the AVPA must comply with the acoustic insulation requirements set out in Part 11 of the NBC (AE). Thereafter, the applicant will need to incorporate these requirements into their building permit submission and the onsite construction of the building.

Background

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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Planning Services Centre

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This information has no legal status and cannot be used as an official interpretation of the various bylaws, codes and regulations currently in effect. The City of Calgary accepts no responsibility to persons relying solely on this information. Web pages are updated periodically. ​

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