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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, brought forward proposed changes to the Noise Exposure Forecast (NEF) contour areas within the Calgary International Airport Vicinity Protection Area (AVPA) Regulation. On September 14, 2020, Council approved a resolution to request the proposed changes be considered by the Minister of Municipal Affairs.   Details about the proposed changes can be found within the Council report. No changes will be made to the AVPA Regulation or the NEF contours unless they are approved by the Province. 

We proposed changes to the NEF contours because they 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 changes to aviation regulations and technologies. The proposed changes to the NEF contours will preserve the operations of the Calgary International Airport and enable land use potential in some communities.

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

Review of the Use Prohibition (Places of Worship & Halls and Auditoriums) in NEF 35
 

On September 14, 2020, Council directed the Airport Vicinity Protection Area Committee to review the prohibition of Places of Worship and Halls and Auditoriums in NEF 35. This was requested as part of the report to committee (PUD2020-0968).

Currently, the development of places of worship, halls and auditoriums are prohibited within the NEF 35 contour area. The City explored the effects of lifting this restriction, including stakeholder feedback.  As a result of this, a recommendation was made that the prohibition be lifted.

On May 10, 2021, Council supported by resolution the lifting of the prohibition on places of worship, halls and auditoriums within the NEF 35 contour area in the AVPA. With the Calgary Airport Authority, Administration will create and submit a joint amendment application to the Minister of Municipal Affairs. No changes will be made to the AVPA Regulation or the NEF contours unless they are approved by the Province.

If you are not familiar with the NEF contours and where the NEF 35 contour is, please refer to the map below.

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, 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
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 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:
http://www.qp.alberta.ca/documents/Regs/2009_177.pdf

 

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.

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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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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