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Notice of Proposed Amendment for Canadian Airports goes to Canada Gazette

By Ed Lubitz, EAA Canada Council

July 2015 - If you want to build an aerodrome in Canada, the federal government is implementing a procedure for consultation that will have to be followed in the future by any aerodrome development. The federal government still retains jurisdiction over aerodromes as in the past but once this legislation is passed into law there will be a formal procedure to follow before construction or expansion of an aerodrome is undertaken.

The Regulations Amending the Canadian Aviation Regulations (Aerodrome Work Consultations) were per-published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, July 11, 2015. If you would like to submit a comment either for or against the “Aerodrome Work Consultations”; cite the Canada Gazette, Part 1, Vol. 149, No. 28 – July 11, 2015. The internet address: http://www.tc.gc.ca, the 30-day consultation period ends on August 10, 2015.

These new regulations will apply to aerodromes either registered or unregistered. Airports are generally larger facilities and have their own set of regulations, which will not be discussed in this short summary.

There are 3 major classifications of small aerodromes and this classification determines what consultation process you must do before construction begins. The ad-hoc aerodrome requires no consultation and is defined as follows:

  1. Aerodromes where take-offs and landings occur less than 90 days per year.
  2. Aerodromes used primarily for agricultural use.
  3. Aerodromes for emergency services.
  4. Aerodromes that are used primarily for helicopter operations.
  5. Military aerodromes.

The other 2 categories are differentiated by their location either within 4 km of a built-up area of a city or town or outside this defined area.

No built-up area within 4 km of the proposed aerodrome the operator shall notify the following;

  1. The Minister.
  2. Nav Canada land use division.
  3. The operator of a certified or registered aerodrome located within a radius of 30 nm.
  4. The authority responsible  for any federally protected area located within a radius of 4 km from the proposed aerodrome.
  5. The abutting land owners.

If the aerodrome has a built-up area such as a city or a town located within 4 km of it, you must notify 1 through 4 above, plus the local government authority responsible for collecting property taxes, plus members of the public within a 4-km radius of the proposed aerodrome shall be advised.

A sign must be posted on the aerodrome property if there is a built-up area within 4 km of the proposed aerodrome.

The aerodrome operator shall, at least 75 days before the expected start date of the aerodrome work, provide a notice to the affected persons as well as a sign (if required) that sets out the location of the proposed aerodrome, the date when the work shall commence, and where any objections are to be addressed. The public will have 45 days to file their objections or comments at which time the aerodrome proponent will provide a summary to the Minister and make it available to interested parties.

It is expected that the aerodrome operator will have tried to address and mediate any objections; however, failing in this, the Minister can with knowledge of the objections elect to set out any conditions that the Minister deems must be completed before construction can begin.

Once all objections have been mediated or dismissed by the Minister, a start date will be issued. The aerodrome operator has five years to begin construction or the consultation will have to be redone. The aerodrome operator has to keep the consultation file on record for 5 years.

It is expected that most small rural strips will not require anything but notification as there will be no built-up areas or federally protected areas within 4 km of the proposed aerodrome. Therefore, the extra costs should not be excessive and there is a record of due diligence for the aerodrome.

Registering your aerodrome so it is published in the “Canadian Flight Supplement” is a separate set of steps and that is undertaken through your regional office of Transport Canada.

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