Aerodrome Legislation Update

Nick Jones, HPAC Director, Ontario

A concentrated comment campaign by HPAC and other aviation organizations has resulted in several important changes in the proposed legislation currently under final review and soon to be implemented. The changes that most directly affect HPAC are:

  1. The definition of excluded “Ad-Hoc” aerodromes has been changed to encompass locations used for not more than 90 calendar days in a year v.s. 30 days in the draft regulation. This is not a block of 90 consecutive days, but 90 individual flying days. Many launches and LZs are used fewer than 90 days in a year and are therefore exempt from this new regulation. The justification for this change referenced HPAC’s request for an increase to 180 days and is almost certainly due to HPAC’s efforts.
  2. “Aerodrome work” is now defined as a) construction of a new aerodrome or b) construction of new runways or extension of runway length by 100m or 10%. Of these only construction of a new aerodrome could possibly apply to our sites. Existing launches and LZ’s typically have no “runways” to extend. Furthermore the term “construction” is not defined and it is likely reasonable to conclude that any activity not requiring a building or similar permit from a local authority is not “construction”. It would be quite a stretch to define cutting grass and shrubbery as “construction”.
  3. The process for sites not excluded above, and more than 4km from the built-up area of a city or town, now includes only notification to Transport Canada, Nav Canada, operator of any airport within 30 nautical miles, the authority responsible for any protected area within 4km of the site and the landowner of any land bordering the site. Note: this has changed from “consultation” to “notification”. And this still only applies to construction of a new site intended for use more than 90 calendar days in a year. Furthermore by specifically referencing “the built up area of a city or town” this relaxed process likely applies to sites in proximity to built up areas that are not part of cities or towns.
  4. Only sites intended for use more than 90 calendar days of the year and where “construction” is to take place within 4km of a city or town still require a public consultation process.

To review the draft regulation refer to:

Thanks to Andre Nadeau, HPAC’s Transport Canada Liaison, and all of the HPAC members who took the time to submit comments.

* Note, text in italics are the opinions and/or inferences of the author and not a legal opinion or interpretation of the legislation.

Nick Jones, HPAC Director, Ontario