Airport Zoning RegulationsAirport Zoning Regulations
The Vancouver Airport Authority (VAA) has made application to Transport Canada to enact new Airport Zoning Regulations (AZR) that will limit the maximum height of buildings and structures in Richmond's City Centre.
To ensure compliance with the new AZR, Council recently adopted amendments to the City Centre Area Plan (CCAP) and Zoning Bylaw to protect the airspace for a possible new future south runway. The bylaw amendments also ensure the continued protection of the airspace for the existing north and south runways.
Airport Zoning Regulations (AZR) are federal regulations that restrict obstacle heights in the vicinity of airports. The existing AZR was enacted in 1981 to protect the airspace for the north, south and crosswind runways. The AZR adheres to a 2% slope for all take-off and approach surfaces starting at the end of the runway strip. The AZR defines three protected surfaces: the approach surface, transitional surface, and the outer surface. The defined height limit of the outer surface is 47 m (154 ft.) above sea level.
In 2014, the VAA began work to understand what measures are necessary to introduce a new AZR to protect the airspace for two future runway options: a south parallel runway or a foreshore runway. The current Airport 20 Year Master Plan (2037) illustrates the two runway options and indicates the need to protect the airspace for both future runway options as part of their application for a new AZR to Transport Canada.
It is important to note that the VAA has not begun the process of selecting a third runway. If a third runway is proposed for implementation in the future, any such initiative would be part of a future environmental assessment review and the project would involve a comprehensive consultation process with stakeholders (e.g., the City) and the public prior to construction of a runway, Furthermore, in response to any concerns identified through the public and municipal consultation process, there is the potential for the imposition of conditions related to the operation of a future third runway similar to those that are in place for the existing north runway (e.g., noise attenuation).
In 2018, after consultation with stakeholders, including the City of Richmond, VAA made a formal application to Transport Canada for a new AZR that would:
- maintain the protected airspace for the existing three runways at 2%;
- protect the airspace for the proposed future parallel south runway and the foreshore runway options at 2%; and
- allow four "cut-out" areas where VAA has permitted to have slightly higher building heights than what would be permitted under the proposed new AZR.
Past Reports to City Council
Reports are provided in Adobe Acrobat PDF format.
For questions regarding this project, please contact:
Senior Policy Coordinator