January 25, 2018

Brampton Circuit Height Changes


The circuit altitude at Brampton Airport is going to 1900 feet from the current 1700 feet on Feb. 1 and Brampton Flight Centre is urging everyone who might fly there to spread the word and politely adjust to the new procedures.

The non-conforming (800-foot) circuit was established in the 1970s to conform to Pearson airspace requirements but the airspace has changed and the circuit height can go to the normal 1,000 feet. The change is going into the Canadian Flight Supplement but Nav Canada won’t be issuing a NOTAM. Brampton Flight Centre issued an alert, copied in its entirety below.

We are anticipating there will be a few issues in adapting to the new altitude, so please be patient with your fellow pilots as they deal with the transition and keep a close eye out for traffic still using the old circuit procedure.

We have made every effort to communicate the change to the general flying public.  Notices such as this one have been sent to the membership.  Signage will be erected around the airport, on the taxiways and roadways leading into the club, announcing the new altitude.  Notices have been sent out to the Community Airports Group Ontario to be posted on their airport bulletin boards. The next addition of the Canada Flight Supplement on Feb 1st. will have the 1700′ procedure deleted.  Unfortunately Nav Canada will not issue a NOTAM due to the change appearing in the CFS.  UNICOM will be responding to advisories with “Circuit height is now 1900′” after Feb 1st. for the many pilots who won’t be reviewing their new CFS prior to arrival


A few safety notes to pass along:


Keep a good look out and listening watch when flying in the circuit. Aircraft flying the old altitude will be masked in the ground clutter.  Try not to overtake any low flying aircraft from directly above as they may suddenly adjust their altitude to 1900.

Please refrain from lecturing errant pilots over the radio.  Work out conflicts politely. Offer friendly advice in person and after everyone is on the ground.  

Aircraft overflying the airport for the turnaround at the old altitude might end up being only 300′ above the new pattern height.  Be watchful for the next while until everyone gets the word.

All aircraft transiting over the airport zone should now be well within Class C airspace.  Report any transient aircraft you deem is below 2900′ via the SMS reporting system.  (CARs 602.96 (5))

Expect that the circuit pattern will be wider.  Crosswind lengths will increase plus the normal guide posts for circuit spacing using struts or wingtips will put aircraft further out from the runway.

The surrounding Class C airspace floor is still the same altitude of 1700′ towards the south and east. Staying within the 2500′ ASL cutout will be mandatory. So manage your pattern shape accordingly. 

Questions you asked…

Why change the circuit height?

Having a non-conforming pattern altitude has always been a challenge.  

Originally the 1700′ was necessary when the Terminal Radar Service Area was first established back in the 70’s.  The airspace since then has changed a number of times allowing us to revert back to a 1000′ AAE circuit.

New neighbouring communities have grown and have expressed concerns over noise.  The additional height, in the effort to reduce noise, is a way to demonstrate that we are trying to be a good neighbour.  

Students undergoing ab initio training at Brampton will now be accustomed to judging circuit work from the normal height of 1000′ AAE.  

The additional height will also aid in the event of an engine failure allowing a greater number of options. 


Are the Class C airspace floor altitudes changing?

No, there are no changes to the height or dimensions of the surrounding Class C airspace.  Overflying the airport for the turnaround at 2400′  will put you close to the existing floor that has been above us for sometime.  Maintaining your altitude accurately will be more important as ever when you perform this manoeuvre.