As a good neighbour, airport emphasizes cooperation

19 October 2015

We want to be a good neighbour because when neighbours work together, good things can happen.

That’s why Nanaimo Airport remains committed to being a good neighbour in the nearby communities. Our noise mitigation program is a great example of the difference community involvement can make.

The program looks at ways to reduce or avoid aircraft noise disturbance where possible. The Airport has always worked with neighbours and over the years have implemented several suggestions from neighbours including:

  • Pilot reminder signage at access gates regarding noise mitigation.
  • Adjustments to the schedules and flight paths for glider tow planes.
  • Requests to the chief pilot of scheduled air carriers about possible flight path changes.

A key component of the ongoing efforts is to host a noise mitigation roundtable, which brings together impacted residents, pilot representatives, Nav Canada (the civil air navigation service provider) and airport staff. It’s goal is to better understand the issues, and work towards solutions where possible. And those issues can be complex.

The airport facilitates commercial, industrial and recreational activities. In addition to flying passengers and cargo, our operations support critical services such as medical supply delivery and medical transportation.

The challenge for our community is to manage concerns about aircraft noise while balancing the region’s need for safe, convenient air travel.

Recent changes in international safety protocol related to flight stabilization, have generated additional noise for some neighbours. Until last year most schedule air carriers were required to be “stable” at 500 feet, which includes putting down their landing gear and flaps. However based on the June 2014 recommendation of National Transportation Safety Board, Air Carriers have changed their safety procedures to ensure they are “stable” at 1,000 feet.

This means that there is an increase in the noise levels, due to the landing gear being deployed sooner on the flight path. The change in safety procedures has affected some of the area’s neighbours who reside in the flight path.

Since this item was brought forward in June, the Nanaimo Airport has been meeting with several of the impacted neighbours and the air carrier to discuss the situation and seek solutions.

Although the source of some noise concerns are related to aircraft flying through the region from different airports or water aerodromes, the Nanaimo Airport always welcomes noise inquiries from residents. A dedicated noise inquiry email has been set up which is “”to discuss your concerns further.