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Letter: Air transportation plays a vital role in our economy, writes NAV CANADA

NAV CANADA works actively with the Vancouver Airport Authority on an ongoing basis in consideration of noise management, the agency writes in response to a Tri-City resident's letter.

Dear Editor,

Regarding the letter published on Nov. 5, 2023, titled “Why the airplane noise over Coquitlam bothers me,” we would like to offer a response to your readers:

Air transportation plays a vital role in our economy and in our communities from coast to coast to coast. NAV CANADA’s role within the aviation ecosystem is to help guide aircraft safely and efficiently through one of the largest regions of airspace in the world.

Regarding the Vancouver Airspace Modernization Project (VAMP), we would like to reassure residents that no changes have yet been implemented.

While robust public consultation was conducted in late 2022 and early 2023 regarding this project, NAV CANADA is currently working alongside Vancouver International Airport (YVR) to evaluate the valuable feedback provided by communities.

Vancouver International Airport is a diverse global hub that connects B.C. proudly to the world.

As Canada’s second busiest passenger airport, YVR facilitates travel, essential cargo and goods movement, and economic growth and opportunity. As an essential point of connection for B.C., YVR continues to play a critical role in the provincial and national transportation network and supply chain, serving as a reliable link for people and goods during extreme weather, including wildfires and flooding.

YVR exists to serve the region and economy that supports it. Through its operations, tourism and cargo, YVR helps facilitate $20.2 billion in total economic output, $10.4 billion in total Gross Domestic Product and $1.4 billion in total government revenue in B.C.

In addition, YVR supports more than 26,500 jobs on Sea Island and over 126,000 jobs across the province.

We want to be clear: NAV CANADA is sensitive to the impacts that aircraft operations can have on communities.

Airspace changes are solely conducted, when necessary, for the safety and efficiency of air travel. The airspace surrounding Metro Vancouver requires modernization; our goal is to deliver an optimal airspace design that ensures long-term safety of operations, meets the growing demand for air travel in the region over the years to come and mitigates noise impacts when possible.

As such, NAV CANADA works actively with the Vancouver Airport Authority on an ongoing basis in consideration of noise management.

When NAV CANADA designs airspace and flight paths, we rely on experts from across the country. This includes operational subject matter experts working and living across the Lower Mainland, input from pilots, the airport authority and communities. Designing the airspace is complex and must take into account a variety of factors, including federally regulated safety criteria, B.C.’s unique geographic features, the range and type of aircraft navigating the area and environmental impact on communities (both noise and emissions).

As our review proceeds, we are committed to providing appropriate updates and, ultimately, sharing a consultation report that will summarize input received, airspace design recommendations, implementation timelines and next steps.

We hope that this letter helps the community understand this project and its benefits.

We believe it is important for the aviation sector and communities to coexist and cooperate.


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