In response to growing noise complaints, nighttime noise abatement procedures and restrictions have been implemented at Pitt Meadows airport (CYPK), located adjacent to the Fraser River in Metro Vancouver.

In the five-year period beginning January 1, 2015, the airport received 271 noise complaints, many of which were lodged during the night. The new procedures and restrictions are applicable only during night operations at CYPK, even though some complaints were related to overflights.

In a presentation made to Pitt Meadows’ city council on July 14, airport manager Guy Miller presented a study 18 months in the making. Using a number of slides showing traffic patterns at and around the airport, Miller explained the complex nature of the region’s airspace, which lies under Vancouver Terminal Class C airspace and is hemmed in from the north by the Coast Mountain range and to the south, east and west by the airspace of other airports.

Shaded areas indicate high concentration of training flights.

Last year CYPK saw 144,000 aircraft movements, making it the 12th busiest airport in Canada. The number has been growing as flight school activity has increased. Although there was a pause in training activity during the COVID-19 pandemic, flights are picking up again. Aggravating the situation is the continued urbanization of the Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge area.

Miller, contacted by eFlight, explained that he’s finding a good level of cooperation among the airport users which, in addition to flight schools, includes numerous helicopter companies and floatplane operators.

“Once I explained to them the nature of the problem, they willingly made adjustments,” said Miller.

Among the changes listed for CYPK in the latest edition of the Canada Flight Supplement (CFS) are a graphical depiction of the noise-sensitive areas to avoid, the designated traffic circuit patterns to follow according to the runway in use, and the times specific runway restrictions are in place, both when the control tower is open and when it is closed. Exceptions to the restrictions can be arranged on a PPR basis.

Given that many of the noise complaints were generated during daytime hours as well, pilots are advised to minimize their noise impact over sensitive areas when safe to do so to avoid the introduction of further restrictions, unless otherwise instructed by ATS.

Check the current CFS for further details.

Image credits: Pitt Meadows Regional Airport