Canada Gazette, Part I, Volume 149, Number 28: Regulations Amending the Canadian Aviation Regulations (Aerodrome Work Consultations)

July 11, 2015

Statutory authority

Aeronautics Act

Sponsoring department

Department of Transport


(This statement is not part of the Regulations.)


Operators wishing to develop a new aerodrome or to significantly modify an existing aerodrome, whether it is certified or not, are not currently required to conduct consultations with affected stakeholders. Matters integral to aviation fall under federal jurisdiction, including aerodromes. However, the federal authority, unlike municipal and provincial authorities that have consultation processes in place for significant changes to land use likely to have an impact on the community, does not have a public engagement requirement to identify and mitigate stakeholder concerns in advance of aerodrome development. The municipal and provincial stakeholders do not necessarily have to be consulted prior to the development of a non-certified aerodrome within their own jurisdiction. As a result, the lack of coordinated development planning can lead, for example, to inefficient land use and increased complaints from local constituents due to the impact of unexpected development.

Operators and stakeholders seeking aerodrome certification are required to have a consultation process but do not have a federal standard to guide them on what constitutes meaningful consultation. The implications for industry and other stakeholders include inconsistent approaches to consultation, insufficient information shared with affected stakeholders, and costs and delays for proponents or operators who, upon completing what they deem to have been an appropriate level of stakeholder engagement, find themselves caught in legal disputes over the validity of their process instead of commencing with their development.


The Government of Canada has exclusive jurisdiction over aeronautics in Canada and has established a legal framework through the Aeronautics Act (the Act) and the Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs) that sets out robust safety requirements for the civil aviation industry. Under this legislation, the Minister of Transport is responsible for the promotion of aeronautics and the Governor in Council has the authority to make regulations respecting activities at aerodromes, including the location, inspection, certification, registration, licensing and operations. The definition of an aerodrome encompasses both certified and non-certified aerodromes, both of which can be either registered or non-registered aerodromes. Aerodromes that are registered appear in the Canada Flight Supplement.

There are approximately 2 000 registered aerodromes, of which 547 are certified, and there are an estimated 5 000 unregistered aerodromes.

It is understood and recognized that aerodromes are engines for nearby communities, that they are vital to the growth of a number of Canadian industries, and that the current legislative framework for activities at aerodromes has generally worked well, particularly during the initial growth of aviation in Canada. However, the dynamics of aerodrome development and operation, as well as the needs and expectations of Canadians, have evolved considerably due to economic and socio-political factors, including increased urbanization and densification around aerodromes.

These factors, coupled with the need for a strong aviation transportation system, illustrate the need for increased communication in advance of aerodrome development to help understand and mitigate public concern, promote Canada's aviation sector, and satisfy the growing need to keep moving people and goods.

A common concern raised by stakeholders to the Minister is the absence of a regulatory requirement for proponents and operators of aerodromes to notify affected stakeholders prior to aerodrome development, including the establishment of new aerodromes and expansion at existing aerodromes. To address this concern, the Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 2 amended the Aeronautics Act to provide the Minister of Transport with the authority and necessary tools to effectively respond to an increasing number of aerodrome issues pertaining to development, location, land use and consultation. The amendment also provided the Governor in Council with the authority to make regulations to prohibit the development, expansion or a change to the operation of aerodromes, as well as the authority to require proponents and operators of aerodromes to consult stakeholders prior to the development, expansion or change to an aerodrome or its operations.


The objectives of the proposed amendments are as follows:

  1. To encourage responsible aerodrome development and operation by requiring proponents and operators to consult affected stakeholders in advance of undertaking aerodrome work through a structured notification process.
  2. To strengthen the consultation process for aerodrome work by providing details within the CARS that will introduce greater clarity and predictability around developments, compel increased communication to identify and mitigate concerns in advance of development, reduce post-construction complaints from affected stakeholders, reduce the chance of delay and costs associated with process-related challenges brought on by affected stakeholders, and allow for better coordination of land use by all interested stakeholders.


The proposed Regulations amending the Canadian Aviation Regulations (the Regulations) were born out of the concerns raised by interested parties adversely affected by aerodrome development, by proponents and operators frustrated by costly administrative and legal delays, and by the general aviation community concerned for its future in Canada. The nature of the concerns centre on improved communication in advance of construction between proponents of aerodrome development and those most likely to be affected by the development. Requiring consultation in advance of commencing construction will allow for many concerns to be proactively raised and mitigated.

The current regulatory requirement to consult is limited to those seeking to certify an aerodrome, and they are only required to consult local land use authorities (as per CARs paragraphs 302.03(1)(a) and 305.08(1)(d)). The CARs do not define what constitutes meaningful consultation, which has led to inconsistent approaches and uncertainty around whether the requirement has been met. The proposed Regulations broaden the requirement to consult by way of notification to include anyone seeking to undertake a prescribed aerodrome work, whether creating a new aerodrome or making a significant change at an existing one, certified or not. The Regulations also provide minimum expectations for how the notification process should be conducted, including timelines, whom to notify and under what circumstances.

Recognizing that developments with the greatest impact warrant the need for the notification process, the Department of Transport (Transport Canada) identified that new aerodromes and significant aeronautical changes at existing aerodromes should require consultations.

The proposed Regulations define aerodrome works that require advance consultation as constructing a new aerodrome and building a new runway at an existing aerodrome. The lengthening of an existing runway has also been included but, in recognition of the differences between small and large aerodromes and so as not to capture all extensions as well as to focus primarily on those likely to lead to an increase in level of service, only extensions in excess of 100 m or 10% of overall length (whichever is greater) will be subject to the proposed Regulations.

To ensure that those most likely to be affected by proposed works receive information about them and have an opportunity to share comments and concerns, proponents and operators of aerodromes will be required to notify interested parties prior to undertaking the prescribed aerodrome work. The proposed Regulations outline a list of interested parties to be notified, which is geographically determined as follows.

The proposed Regulations prescribe minimum requirements for consultation. Although flexible enough to accommodate the differing complexities of projects that could be undertaken at Canada's 7 000-plus aerodromes, the minimum requirements are prescriptive enough to introduce certainty for proponents and for stakeholders alike, so that engagement is conducted in a meaningful manner. The proposed Regulations allow all parties to understand under what circumstances consultation is required, what information about the aerodrome work must be shared and the manner in which it is shared, what the opportunities are for affected stakeholders to provide feedback, how concerns are dealt with, and that the Minister will have the responsibility for making decisions on unresolved objections. It is anticipated that, by increasing the amount of information shared in advance of construction, most concerns can be heard and addressed proactively with the goal of mitigating negative impacts to the greatest extent possible.

The proposed Regulations prescribe a minimum of 75 days between the notification and the commencement of the aerodrome work. Transport Canada recognizes that more than 75 days may be required for more complex works and the Regulations allow for additional time to be added as needed. The proponent is required to notify all interested parties by way of a notice and by placing a sign in plain view of the public where the aerodrome work will be undertaken. The notice and the sign must include a drawing and description of the proposed works, the estimated start and completion date, the contact information of the proponent and the deadline for comments to be received (which must be at least 45 days from the initial date of notice).

Within 30 days of the end of the notification period, the proponent will be required to prepare a summary report of the consultation and submit it to the Minister. It must contain a description of the proposed works, the persons who were notified, a summary of the comments and objections received and the proposed actions, and any objections that were not or could not be addressed. The report must also be available to anyone who requests it for a period of at least five years.

Within 30 days of receiving the summary report, the Minister will send the proponent a notice that either provides confirmation that the works may begin or that requests information required by the Minister to be able to evaluate any outstanding objections or measures for the purpose of making a decision. The proponent of the aerodrome work may undertake the aerodrome work at the end of 30 days if there are no outstanding objections or on a date specified by the Minister. The proponent must start the aerodrome work within five years of the submission of the summary report. If more than five years pass, the proponent or operator will be required to undertake a new consultation.

Transport Canada recognizes that there are some circumstances in which these Regulations should not apply. The following exceptions are therefore provided:

  1. Heliports and aerodromes primarily used for helicopter operations;
  2. Low volume aerodromes (where take-offs and landings occur no more than 90 days per year);
  3. Temporary aerodromes for the provision of emergency services such as forest fire suppression, medical necessity, law enforcement activities and search and rescue; and
  4. Aerodromes used primarily for agricultural operations.
  5. Military aerodromes, which are currently exempt and will remain exempt.

Finally, the proposed Regulations will revise CARs section 302.03, “Issuance of Airport Certificate,” as a consequential amendment so that the proposed consultation process will satisfy the requirement to consult as a condition of certification.

“One-for-One” Rule

The “One-for-One” Rule applies to these proposed amendments and is considered an “IN” under the rule. The proposed Regulations increase the administrative burden on industry because it requires proponents and operators to prepare a report summarizing consultation activities, notify Transport Canada of the conclusions of the notification process and keep the summary report of the process for a period not less than five years from the date of its completion.

For the purposes of the “One-for-One” Rule, only the administrative burden on business is estimated. “Business” means a person or entity that engages in commercial activities in Canada other than for a public purpose. Aerodromes owned by the federal government, municipalities, provinces, or not-for-profit entities (such as airport authorities) and personal use aerodromes would not be considered businesses.

It is estimated that three to five projects a year could be initiated in the 547 certified aerodromes in Canada. In addition, of the approximately 2 000 registered aerodromes, 200 could potentially be candidates for an aerodrome work project. The majority of the annual aerodrome work will be undertaken at smaller aerodromes, not at the major international airports.

For the purposes of illustrating a worst case administrative burden, the highest possible number of aerodrome work in a single year is 205.

Of those 205 aerodromes, it is assumed that at most 10% of the smaller aerodromes would be considered businesses and none of the larger aerodromes would be considered a business. Assuming that it will take 8 hours to prepare the notification process summary report for the 20 small aerodrome works per year and that it will take the manager 20 minutes to submit the report to the Minister and to file the report, the combined annualized administrative burden for all possible proponents affected would be $6,472.

Small business lens

The small business lens does not apply to the proposed Regulations, as the nationwide cost impact is expected to be less than $1 million annually.

In addition, the proposed Regulations offer alternative notification requirements for aerodrome work not located within 4 000 m from a built-up area of a city or town, which is expected to have less of a cost impact on smaller, rural aerodromes.


Through its principal means of reaching out to industry — the Canadian Aviation Regulation Advisory Council (CARAC) Web site and by way of email to 525 stakeholders — Transport Canada shared a preliminary assessment document to determine how best to proceed with the creation of the proposed Regulations. Based on the significant feedback received from stakeholders, a focus group was established. The primary purpose of the aerodrome focus group was to discuss the regulatory proposal that would require an aerodrome proponent or operator to notify affected stakeholders prior to undertaking prescribed aerodrome work. Transport Canada held its first focus group meeting in June 2014 to have a policy-level discussion on the regulatory proposal. The focus group made a number of recommendations, including the following:

Following this meeting, Transport Canada prepared a Notice of Proposed Amendment (NPA) in February 2015 that was based on the outcome of the focus group meeting, analysis by Transport Canada of other consultation processes, and the premise that material impact — whether from a new aerodrome or changes at an existing one — is the same for those affected by the development. Transport Canada received feedback on the NPA via the CARAC Web site from a broad range of stakeholders. Although the various consulted parties highlighted their individual concerns, there were some concerns that were raised by multiple parties, such as the following:

Association groups, provincial and municipal governments, the public (general aviation) and proponents of aerodrome work:

Association groups, provincial and municipal governments and the public (general aviation):

The association groups and the municipal governments highlighted an issue with the definition of an “ad hoc aerodrome,” stating that there is no outlined responsibility for tracking the 30-day period, which would cause issues with enforcement. Individual organizational comments are highlighted below.



Provincial governments:

Public (non-aviation):

Proponents of aerodrome work (including national and provincial airports):

A second focus group meeting was held at the end of March 2015 to modify the proposed Regulations in response to industry concerns regarding the scope, applicability and prescriptive nature of the requirements. Transport Canada addressed these concerns by clarifying the intention of the proposed Regulations and working with focus group participants to make changes to the scope, applicability and prescriptive nature of the NPA. For example, the kinds of developments or changes at existing aerodromes that would trigger the notification process were defined and the requirement to have a community meeting as part of the process were dropped, since it was felt that the result of sharing information and soliciting feedback could be achieved without it. To address the concerns raised by provincial officials and Canadians relating to aerodrome work in or near protected areas, the requirement to notify nearby federally protected area authorities was added.

The proposed Regulations built on the progress of the working group. With post-meeting comments received from focus group members on the revised proposal, and upon further analysis by Transport Canada officials and subject matter experts, additional modifications were made. The description of works that would trigger notification was further simplified. Also added was the requirement to notify landowners whose property borders a proposed aerodrome work located within a 4 000 m radius of a built-up area of a city or town, ensuring that affected stakeholders everywhere are given information and the opportunity to engage proponents in advance of construction. Finally, the proposed Regulations recognize that the Minister may take action in relation to any unresolved objections. Determination of what constitutes a public interest matter will rest with the Minister and will be made in accordance with the circumstances of each case and within the jurisdictional limits of the Aeronautics Act. The matter of obstacle development on land adjacent to aerodromes will be addressed in the next phase of the multi-year review of responsible aerodrome development, which will commence later in 2015.

Focus group membership consisted of representatives from the following organizations:



These proposed Regulations would address the current identified gap in regulatory requirements by ensuring that there is a consistently applied notification process in advance of aerodrome work. This proposed amendment introduces clarity, predictability and increased communication for all stakeholders. The proposed Regulations are expected to provide an overall benefit to Canadians directly impacted by aerodrome work as the Regulations would compel proponents to engage stakeholders and solicit and mitigate their concerns in advance of construction. Industry will experience greater planning and cost certainty. A consequential benefit is an increase in coordinated land use between proponents and land use authorities.


Proponents who choose to undertake a new aerodrome work at an aerodrome in or within 4 000 m of a built-up area of a city or town and who have already undergone a certification process and have achieved certification for that aerodrome may assume a cost related to the proposed notification process. These proponents already have statutory consultation processes in place as part of industry best practice. If their existing process does not already include all elements of the proposed notification process as part of their normal practices, it is assumed that there will be a cost. The range of the costs for these aerodrome work proponents to undertake the public notification as part of the larger development process is estimated as a one-time cost per project of between $10,000 and $25,000. The assumption is that this cost is related to notification of all affected public stakeholders within the 4 000 m radius. It is assumed that any steps that are not already part of the proponents' current consultation plan will be conducted in parallel to other preliminary planning work and will not cause delays.

The majority of the annual aerodrome work will be undertaken at smaller aerodromes, not at the major international airports. Of the 13 major international airports in Canada, only 3 have planned future development expected to take place over the next 15 years.

For proponents of aerodrome work at smaller certified airports or registered aerodromes outside of 4 000 m of a built up area of a city or town, the costs are estimated at a one-time cost per project of approximately $2,000, attributed to printing and delivering the public notification package and posting of signage, and for management to respond in writing to comments and prepare a summary report. Some of these proponents may already undertake some consultation as part of their own business practices.

It is assumed that there will be no costs for proponents of very small aerodromes either unregistered or registered because it is assumed to be unlikely that these very small aerodromes would undertake a prescribed aerodrome work as described in this proposed amendment.

Implementation, enforcement and service standards

These amendments will be enforced through the assessment of monetary penalties imposed under sections 7.6 to 8.2 of the Aeronautics Act, which carry a maximum fine of $5,000 for individuals and $25,000 for corporations, through suspension or cancellation of a Canadian aviation document, or through judicial action introduced by way of summary conviction, as per section 7.3 of the Aeronautics Act.


Regulatory Affairs (AARBH)
Civil Aviation
Safety and Security Group
Transport Canada
Place de Ville, Tower C
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0N5
Telephone: 613-993-7284 or 1-800-305-2059
Fax: 613-990-1198
Web site:


Notice is given that the Governor in Council, pursuant to section 4.9 (see footnote a) and subsection 7.6(1) (see footnote b) of the Aeronautics Act (see footnote c), proposes to make the annexed Regulations Amending the Canadian Aviation Regulations (Aerodrome Work Consultations).

Interested persons may make representations with respect to the proposed Regulations to the Minister of Transport within 30 days after the date of publication of this notice. All representations must be in writing and cite the Canada Gazette, Part I, and the date of publication of this notice and be sent to Marie-Anne Dromaguet, Chief, Regulatory Affairs (AARBH), Civil Aviation, Safety and Security Group, Department of Transport, Place de Ville, Tower C, 330 Sparks Street, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0N5 (general inquiries – tel.: 613-993-7284 or 1-800-305-2059; fax: 613-990-1198; Internet address: http‍:‍//

Ottawa, June 18, 2015

Assistant Clerk of the Privy Council



1. Part III of Schedule II to Subpart 3 of Part I of the Canadian Aviation Regulations (see footnote 5) is amended by adding the following after the reference “Section 305.57”:

Column I

Designated Provision

Column II

Maximum Amount of Penalty ($)



Section 307.03 5,000 25,000
Section 307.05 3,000 15,000
Section 307.06 3,000 15,000
Section 307.07 3,000 15,000
Section 307.08 3,000 15,000
Section 307.09 3,000 15,000

2. (1) Section 302.02 of the Regulations is amended by adding the following after subsection (1):

(1.1) The applicant shall include in the application proof that the applicant has consulted with the interested parties in accordance with the requirements of Subpart 7.

(2) Subsection 302.02(2) of the Regulations is replaced by the following:

(2) The application shall be signed, in ink, by the applicant and shall be in the form set out in the aerodrome standards and recommended practices publications.

3. Subpart 7 of Part III of the Regulations is replaced by the following:


307.01 The following definitions apply in this Subpart.

“aerodrome work” means work, other than work necessary to comply with a new requirement imposed by or under the Act, undertaken for any of the following purposes:

“proponent” means a person who proposes to undertake aerodrome works. (promoteur)

“protected area” means a natural area or habitat that is protected under federal legislation. (aire protégée)


307.02 This Subpart applies to existing and proposed aerodromes that are not

Requirement — Consultations

307.03 No proponent shall undertake aerodrome work unless the proponent has consulted with the interested parties in accordance with the requirements of this Subpart.

Interested Parties

307.04 For the purposes of section 307.03, the interested parties are

Notice and Sign

307.05 The proponent shall, at least 75 days before the expected start date of the aerodrome work,

Content of Notice and Sign

307.06 The proponent shall prepare a notice and a sign that set out the following:

Summary Report

307.07 At the end of the period referred to in paragraph 307.06(f), the proponent shall prepare a summary report that includes the following:

Communication of Summary Report

307.08 The proponent shall, within 30 days after the end of the period referred to in paragraph 307.06(f), provide the summary report to the Minister and make it available to the interested parties.

Availability of Summary Report

307.09 The proponent shall ensure that the summary report is available to the interested parties for at least five years from the date on which it is made available to them.

Notice from Minister

307.10 The Minister shall, within 30 days after receiving the summary report, send the proponent

Start of Aerodrome Work

307.11 (1) The proponent may undertake aerodrome works

(2) If the proponent does not undertake the aerodrome work within five years after the date on which the summary report is sent to the Minister, the proponent shall once again comply with the requirements of this Subpart.


4. These Regulations come into force on the day on which they are registered.