Aircraft Noise


Runway Usage Trial

Thursday, October 5, 2017 0 Noise Management Page

On Saturday, October 14, 2017, the Calgary Airport Authority launched a six-month Runway Usage Trial that will look to improve the balance of aircraft departures of the southerly runways (17L and 17R) over the weekends.  

What are we doing? 

We will be working with NAV CANADA to alternate the primary southerly departure runway on the weekends (Saturdays and Sundays) between 6:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. to balance operations on non-peak days and hours. As we continue to grow as an urban airport, it is important to maintain airspace capacity in consideration of community feedback. 

What is runway alternation? 

At YYC it means alternating the use of our primary departure runway during non-peak traffic periods. During those times departures can be managed by operating on one of the parallel runways rather than both while maintaining safe and efficient operations. Alternation will be undertaken as follows: 
◾The east runway (17L) will be the primary departure runway on odd weekend days (Saturdays – Sundays)  when south flow operations are active
◾The west runway (17R) will be the primary departure runway on even weekend days (Saturdays – Sundays) when south flow operations are active

A detailed calendar can be found here, showing the runway use dates for weekends between 6:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. 

Are there any caveats or limitations to the trial? 

Alternating between runways is more complex than just switching between the parallel runways when capacity allows it. Safety is always the first priority. In addition, runway assignment and flight direction must consider among other factors: 
◾Wind and other weather conditions 
◾Demand and capacity
◾Construction and maintenance

This means that while departures during south flow operations will alternate on the weekend, you can expect day-to-day variations: 
◾Aircraft may still depart from the other parallel runway 
◾Aircraft will continue to arrive on both runways
◾Not all single runway departures will be straight out
◾Aircraft will continue to fly over Calgary and the surrounding areas

This initiative and published schedule will not affect the operational requirement to operate in a particular flow, either south or north. 

When will the trial take place? 

The trial will begin on Saturday, October 14, 2017, and it will last six (6) months until Saturday, April 14, 2018. Regular updates will be provided to the community via the Airport Community Consultative Committee. 

What will be evaluated during the trial? 

Once the trial is complete, the Calgary Airport Authority, in collaboration with NAV CANADA and other industry stakeholders, will evaluate performance results and community feedback in order to understand the benefits and long term viability of this initiative. 

Will this mean more flights overhead? 

The runway use trial will only apply during the weekend between 6:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. when weather conditions require south flow operations (17L and 17R), and there are no other operational factors that may require a different runway assignment. While existing flight paths will not change, communities under the 17L departure path may be overflown more on the weekend odd days, while communities under the 17R departure path may have more overflights on the weekend even days. The trial may result in a decrease use of the 10 degree divergence, allowing aircraft to remain on runway heading (over industrial use land) when runway 17L is in use, though residents can continue to expect to see aircraft over areas they do today. Most communities may not notice any significant change. 

Why is the runway trial only applicable to weekends between 6:00 am and 11:00 pm? 

Peak periods require additional flexibility to manage capacity requirements, including the use of both parallel runways for departures. 

This trial represents another step in the evaluation of noise management tools and initiatives aimed at reducing aircraft noise and addressing community concerns. The Calgary Airport Authority, working with NAV CANADA, airlines and other industry stakeholders, will continue to investigate opportunities to reduce community exposure to aircraft noise. 

How can you provide feedback? 

You can submit any comments or questions to or through our concern submission form We will report back to the community at the end of the trial period including any feedback received.