How satellite technology could cut airplane noise around Vancouver airport
Nav Canada launching public consultations over airspace modernization project
Communities in Metro Vancouver and beyond could be hearing less airplane noise under an initiative to streamline flight arrivals and departures at Vancouver International Airport (YVR). The Vancouver airspace modernization project aims to consolidate the flight paths for the hundreds of airplanes that use YVR every day, and change the way they land — all with the assistance of satellites.
Nav Canada, which owns and operates Canada's air traffic control system and is running the project, says it estimates as many as 61,000 fewer residents would experience noise levels above 60 decibels — normal speaking volume — if the flight paths are streamlined, as the planes would fly over fewer homes.
"We need to have a modern infrastructure to support newer types of airplanes and be prepared for future growth, as well."
Residents across southern B.C. can provide their input on the project in a series of consultations — both online and in-person — beginning this week and until the end of January. Airplane noise has been a hot-button issue in Metro Vancouver municipalities in the past, particularly in Delta and Richmond, where the airport is located.
"Similar to cars, we have invisible highways in the sky that are used by planes," said Nav Canada spokesperson Jonathan Bagg. "As time goes by, we need to update that infrastructure similar to roads.
Plan to reduce emissions
A master plan released by YVR in 2017 estimated that the total number of passengers per year would grow by 56 per cent in 20 years. However, that plan has since been amended due to the downturn in air traffic brought on by COVID-19 restrictions. Bagg says the modernization plan would help in the long term.
"A lot of this is really about future proofing and ensuring we have the infrastructure we need to accommodate future demand for travel," he said.
A key part of the new system would be required navigation performance (RNP), which would allow planes to leverage satellite positioning to fly extremely precise routes.
"If you think conventionally in the past, a plane needed to fly toward a signal that was located on the ground," Bagg said, referring to ground-based navigation systems within air traffic control rooms. "[With] this new type of route, we can design shorter routes, so less distance to fly, which also means less fuel burn and less greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, with the aid of satellites, planes don't have to use as much thrust when touching down — a method of landing called a 'continuous descent operation.' "
The new landing methods are estimated to be 1-5 decibels quieter than usual methods. Nav Canada says around 40-50 per cent of airplanes operating at YVR can already use the technology, with that number expected to climb in the years to come.
Councillor encourages participation
Dylan Kruger, a Delta councillor, said the city would be encouraging residents to attend the consultations and have their concerns heard by officials.
"[There] will be opportunities for residents to come and point out their specific property on the map," he said. "See how the proposed changes will impact [them] because it is so site-specific."
Kruger pointed to a 2017 projection that showed a 438 per cent increase in daily aircraft movements above the Tsawwassen area in two decades, and a 154 per cent increase for neighbouring North Delta. He said Delta council has previously advocated for new airplane routes that would go over the city's less densely populated areas. Kruger said that city staff had a "very strong" working relationship with Nav Canada and YVR, and the city would be releasing announcements about the consultations through its social media channels in the new year.
Bagg says Nav Canada would look at the results of the public consultation and amend the proposal as needed. He says the implementation of the plan likely wouldn't go into effect until late 2023.
"[The enhancements] are designed to contribute to both operational efficiency and environmental sustainability at the airport," a YVR spokesperson said in a statement. "We look forward to the outcomes of the planned consultation and advancing this important work in collaboration with Nav Canada."
(Source: CBC News,
Glacier Air invites young girls and women to "Fly it Forward" event on March 11
On March 11, from 10 am to 3 pm, Glacier Air and the BC Coast 99s will be hosting a Fly it Forward® event as part of Women of Aviation Worldwide Week. The event will introduce girls and women who have never flown in a small airplane to the joy of flight with an opportunity to fly for free.
“Most girls and women have never considered a career in aviation or seen themselves as pilots, aircraft mechanics, airport managers, air traffic controllers or any of the endless opportunities available within the Aviation and Aerospace Industry. I want to change that,” says Colette Morin, the owner of Glacier Air.
Flights will be offered on a first-come, first fly basis, but pre-registration is recommended by emailing iwoawGAir99s@gmail.com with your full name, age, and weight (for flight planning purposes). The event also includes inspiring women speakers throughout the day who have made aviation their careers. Colette encourages women to arrive early and plan to spend the day to socialize, talk to some amazing women and meet new friends. Over the past 12 years, over 400 women became airborne for the first time as part of this event. (For more details about this event, visit the Fly It Forward Eventbrite webpage.)
Glacier Air has participated in Women of Aviation Worldwide Week events annually since 2011, including hosting a COVID-friendly online event in March 2021. The B.C. Coast 99s, a chapter of the The NinetyNines Inc., International Organization of Women Pilots, co-host this event and provide airplanes, pilots and volunteers working together to make a successful event. The Institute for Women of Aviation Worldwide (iWOAW) was started by Mireielle Goyer, an airlinerated pilot and aviation educator, as a global initiative to promote aviation awareness and address gender discrimination in the aviation industry.
“Too many women are not aware of women’s long and rich history of contributions to the industry,” says Mireille Goyer. Mireille hopes more women will see themselves in aviation and pursue it as a career.
Glacier Air has been offering flight instruction, air tours and charter flight services out of the Squamish Airport for over forty-five years. Owner, Colette Morin, has helped hundreds of pilots earn their private and commercial licenses. Of those approximately 12% were women.
“It is better than the national average of 7%, but I still strive for more parity amongst pilots and all aspects of the aviation industry.” comments Colette.
(Source: The Squamish Reporter, Graphic: Submitted)
Texada Youth Aerospace Camp and Fly-In
The Texada Arts, Culture and Tourism Society is holding Texada Aviation Week from July 26th to 30th this year.
The Youth Aerospace Camp starts on Wednesday, July 26th and ends on Saturday the 29th. Ages are from 10 to 15. No kid should miss out on this. For current information and registration details please go to TASCampReg. Please visit the Texada Youth AeroSpace Camp website for more information.
The Texada Annual Fly-In will be held Sunday, July 30th. The "Fly-In Fling" will be held the evening of the 29th with rides provided from the airport to the Legion in Van Anda and back to the airport campground. The contact number for rides will be posted at the airport campground. The Fly-In it usually draws around 60 to 75 visiting aircraft - the aviation and auto "Show and Shine" is a favourite, and the food and aviation entertainment is amazing. It is simply tons of down home fun. Check out last year's Fly-In webpage for a list of events – more information for this year's event will become available closer to the event date.
2023 Scholarship Applications Open
The BC Aviation Council invites all current and prospective aviation and aerospace students to apply for one - or more - of our scholarships.
BCAC scholarship applications open annually on January 15th. Applications can be made online through the BCAC website. Completed applications must be submitted via the BCAC website no later than midnight on April 30th.
BCAC members recognize the financial pressures faced by students pursuing studies in aviation and aerospace and are pleased to provide over $70,000 worth of scholarships on an annual basis. With the critical shortage of human resources faced by our industry – even before the COVID pandemic – and the need to support industry-wide recovery efforts, a focus on scholarships is a key priority of the BCAC.
Students can apply for cash awards ranging from $1,000 to $8,000. However, these awards are about much more than just the cash. Winning any scholarship looks great on your resumé, especially because the BCAC Scholarship Committee consists of dedicated industry leaders and their review is extremely thorough. Reference letters and a complete application are particularly important to the Scholarship Committee; explaining why you require financial assistance is also important. Applications are treated in the strictest of confidence. Please visit the BCAC's Scholarship Applications webpage for more information.
Questions? Please contact the BCAC at firstname.lastname@example.org
(Photo: Kim Bellavance Photographe)
New air traffic control tower planned for Victoria, BC (YYJ)
Today NAV CANADA announced its plans to construct a new air traffic control tower at the Victoria International Airport (YYJ).
Construction of the new tower will begin in the spring of 2023 and is expected to be completed by 2026, replacing the existing tower at the Victoria airport.
The new energy efficient LEED certified tower will include a control cab with a 360-degree view of the airport and have the most modern air traffic management, communications, and aviation surveillance systems to ensure safety of operations.
With a height of six stories and a total floor space of approximately 969m2, the new structure will stand several meters taller than the current tower, providing air traffic controllers with improved sight lines over the airfield.
"While the new tower will be equipped with state-of-the-art technology to safely and efficiently manage growing air traffic demand, it will also be LEED certified, which is an investment in energy efficiency and sustainability and demonstrates NAV CANADA's commitment to its net-zero goal by 2050," said Raymond G. Bohn, President and CEO, NAV CANADA.
"We congratulate NAV CANADA, and we are pleased to see this new state of the art control tower being constructed at Victoria International Airport. Aviation is a critical industry for economic prosperity and this project will help facilitate continued growth in the region," said Geoff Dickson, President and CEO, Victoria International Airport.
NAV CANADA's decision to replace the existing tower, built in 1958, was based on the need for an upgraded facility to better support airport and aircraft operations and future years of continued uninterrupted service in the area.
Employees of NAV CANADA will continue to work at the existing facility until construction is finalized, at which point air traffic control operations will transition to the new tower. READ MORE
(Source: NAV CANADA, Photo: Don Denton/Black Press)
Terminal expansion costs at Kelowna Airport soar due to COVID and inflation
Budget has increased by nearly $23 million
After delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the first phase of the terminal expansion at Kelowna International Airport (YLW) will start in 2023 with an inflated budget. The original budget was $67.3 million, but inflation has driven the cost to $90.2 million, according to YLW’s 10-year capital plan going to city council Nov. 21.
Plans include the expansion of pre-board screening and the departures lounge. Phase 2 of the terminal expansion is to begin in 2029 and includes construction of the arrivals area at the south end of the building. Parking fees at the airport will go up in January 2023, based on the annual Consumer Price Index increase.
The 10-year capital plan also outlines an expanded combined operations building, rehabilitation of runways, taxiways, and aprons, new firefighting and snow-clearing equipment, and new runway and approach lighting. The lighting project will require the purchase of land north of Old Vernon Road.
Airport operations are also expected to be carbon neutral by 2030 and carbon net zero or net negative by 2040. As well, the financial overview aims to maintain less than $40 million in outstanding debt and move towards a debt-free position in the next 10 years. The report notes that YLW is the second fastest-recovering Canadian airport. Montreal is number one.
(Source: Lake Country Calendar, Gary Barnes. Exterior Rendering Graphic/mcfarlane biggar architects + designers)
Drone Delivery Canada begins cargo routes at Edmonton International
Drone Delivery Canada on May 26, 2022, began the commercial operation of a previously announced program with Edmonton International Airport. The program will be operational for a 12-month term.
Drone Delivery Canada (DDC) will oversee defined-route deliveries from Edmonton International Airport (EIA) to off-airport property using its Sparrow drone, as well as proprietary DroneSpot takeoff and landing zones and FLYTE software.
“Edmonton International Airport is a leader in drone operations at airports and we’re proud to be the first airport in Canada to have commercial drone delivery services in full operation,” said Myron Keehn, Vice President, Air Service, Business Development, ESG and Government Relations, EIA. “Our partnership with DDC is helping create a flight path forward for this growing industry and we know there is tremendous potential still ahead.”
DDC explains the program will transport a variety of cargo for Ziing Final Mile and Apple Express, located in the industrial park in Leduc County, Alberta. “With us now moving to full drone commercial operations at EIA we’ll begin to see how drone technology can supplement and enhance deliveries within the last mile space,” said Chris Higham, President and CEO of Ziing.
DDC explains it has received an upfront fee for the drone route deployed and that it will also receive a monthly fee for professional managed services. This is DDC’s first international airport drone solution, through the assistance of its sales agent Air Canada.
Flights will be remotely monitored by DDC from its Operations Control Centre located in Vaughan, Ontario.
(Source: Helicopters Magazine, Photo: Canadian Newswire)
Wisk Aero Secures $450 Million from The Boeing Company to Advance Certified Autonomous Electric Flight
Wisk, a leading Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) company and developer of the first all-electric, self-flying air taxi in the U.S., has secured $450 million in funding from The Boeing Company, making it one of the most well-funded AAM companies in the world. Combined with previous funding, this investment reinforces Wisk’s strong position as a privately-backed AAM leader and highlights the strength of Wisk’s strategic partnership with Boeing and their collaboration on critical technology development.
This investment will further advance the development of Wisk’s 6th generation eVTOL aircraft, a first-ever candidate for certification of an autonomous, all-electric, passenger-carrying aircraft in the U.S. The funding will also support the company as it enters an intensive growth phase over the next year, its preparations for the launch of scale manufacturing, and the company’s Go-to-Market efforts.
Within five years following the certification of its 6th generation aircraft, Wisk intends to operate one of the industry’s largest fleets of AAM eVTOL aircraft. The scale of this fleet is enabled by the company’s autonomous technology, a competitive differentiator and industry-recognized key to scaling services and maximizing safety. In this timeframe, Wisk anticipates close to 14M annual flights bringing time savings to over 40 million people across 20 cities – all with zero emissions.
Gary Gysin, CEO of Wisk, said, “Wisk is extremely well-positioned to deliver on our long-term strategy and commitment to safe, everyday flight for everyone. We are incredibly fortunate to have Boeing as not only an investor but a strategic partner, which provides us with access to a breadth of resources, industry-leading expertise, a global reach, extensive certification experience, and more. As we enter this next stage of our growth, this additional funding provides us with capital while allowing us to remain focused on our core business and our number one priority, safety.” READ MORE
Expanded Canada-India Air Transport Agreement to allow unlimited flights between both countries
From visiting friends and family to getting goods to markets around the world, Canadians rely on the aviation industry to provide diverse international air services. Expanding Canada's existing air transport relationships allow airlines to introduce more flight options and routings, which benefit passengers and businesses by providing greater choice and convenience.
The Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, today announced the recent conclusion of an expanded air transport agreement between Canada and India. The expanded agreement allows designated airlines to operate an unlimited number of flights between the two countries. The previous agreement limited each country to 35 flights per week.
This significant move will allow airlines of Canada and India to better respond to the needs of the Canada-India air transport market. Going forward, officials of both countries will remain in contact to discuss further expansion of the agreement.
The new rights under the expanded agreement are available for use by airlines immediately.
"The expanded air transport agreement between Canada and India is a positive development for air transport relations between our countries. We are pleased to expand this relationship with additional flexibility for airlines to serve this growing market. By making the movement of goods and people faster and easier, this expanded agreement will continue to facilitate trade and investment between Canada and India and help our businesses grow and succeed."
The Honourable Omar Alghabra, Canada's Minister of Transport
"The Canada-India economic relationship is built on deep-rooted people to people ties. With this expanded air transport agreement, we are facilitating even more exchanges of professionals, students, business people, and investors. As we strengthen our trade and investment relationship with India, we will continue building bridges like this that enable our entrepreneurs, workers, and businesses to access new opportunities."
The Honourable Mary Ng, Canada's Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development
India is Canada's 4th largest international air transport market.
Canada's first air transport agreement with India was concluded in 1982, and was last expanded in 2011. This new agreement was reached under Canada's Blue Sky policy, which encourages long-term, sustainable competition and the development of international air services.
- The agreement gives Canadian air carriers access to Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, and Mumbai, and Indian air carriers access to Toronto, Montreal, Edmonton, Vancouver, and two additional points to be selected by India.
- Other cities in both countries can be served indirectly through code-share services.
- Rights for all-cargo services are already unrestricted.
(Source: Transport Canada, Photo: Brajesh Kumar Tiwari)