Frequently Asked Questions
Why is it necessary to redesign the
deployment of Performance Based Navigation (PBN) technologies, of which RNP is
a part, has been encouraged by the International Civil Aviation Organization
(ICAO). ICAO took steps in 2007 to require its member countries to develop
formal plans for the deployment of PBN in their respective jurisdictions. NAV
CANADA Performance-Based Navigation Operations Plan (2014) and
Canada PBN State Plan identifies the goal of achieving a total PBN
environment in Canada with Area Navigation (RNAV) and/or RNP for all
Navigation (PBN) procedures are also an important part of the toolkit being
used by NAV CANADA to reduce the industry’s impact on the environment, through
the reduction of greenhouse gases (GHGs), as committed in Canada’s
Action Plan to Reduce Greenhouse Gases from Aviation.
RNP and other forms of PBN are in use at the Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport today, improved approaches ‒ that can be utilized by more aircraft operators ‒
are being developed.
is the most reliable way to achieve Continuous Descent Approaches (CDA). CDA
are the quietest and most fuel efficient type of approach. CDA reduce noise
associated with level segments that require the use of increased throttle and
What is RNP?
more about Required Navigation Procedures (RNP) by viewing The Basics of RNP.
What is a standard arrival route, or
Standard Terminal Arrival Route, or STAR, is an arrival procedure used to
direct aircraft as they land at an airport. STAR procedures can be programmed
into an aircraft’s navigation computers to prepare the aircraft to fly the
route as efficiently as possible.
help organize frequently-used air traffic controller instructions into an
established set of procedures for traffic transiting from their enroute portion
of flight onto the final approach path to a runway. STARs represent commonly
flown flight paths. They are a means of reducing workload and the need for
significant back and forth communication between air traffic controllers and
procedures are published in the Canada Air Pilot (CAP) for pilot and controller
What are the benefits of the proposed
is the most reliable way to achieve Continuous Descent Approaches (CDA). CDA
are the quietest and most fuel efficient type of approach. CDA reduce fuel
consumption and noise associated with level segments.
allows aircraft to employ a shorter route, resulting in shorter flight times,
of up to two minutes per flight. The cumulative impact of those savings can be
significant. The changes planned for the airspace surrounding Ottawa are
expected to reduce GHG emissions by more than 750 metric tonnes and reduce
aircraft fossil fuel consumption by 300,000 litres per year.
allows for the design of highly precise routes. Where possible, these routes
were designed to avoid residential communities.
of its predictability, RNP also reduces the requirement for frequent voice
communications between pilots and air traffic controllers. The result is more
time for pilots to concentrate on other important tasks at a phase of flight
where the workload is heavy.
What specifically is happening to the
routes in my area?
arrival routes are being proposed for runways 07, 14, 25 and 32. There are no
changes to departures, or any changes to operations related to runways
04 and 22 being proposed. For a specific description of the
planned changes surrounding the airport in your community, view the runway
specific information available on this website.
Do aircraft only fly on RNP/RNAV approaches?
existence of a published RNP or RNAV approach does not
mean that is the only route an aircraft will follow or that something is wrong
if aircraft are observed in other locations. Air traffic controllers may direct
pilots to operate off the approach for a variety of reasons related to the
safety and efficiency of operations.
times, traffic situations make it possible to shorten an aircraft’s flight path
and reduce the time it takes to get on the ground. It is also common for
aircraft to be directed off a procedure to organize multiple aircraft on
approach to an airport to ensure that they do so efficiently and at a safe
distance from one another.
is estimated that less than 25 per cent of aircraft will be equipped to use RNP.
What are airport noise abatement
noise abatement procedures, which are developed by airport authorities and
approved by Transport Canada, are rules that can govern such things as the
choice of runway, approach and departure paths or restrictions on times of use
of the airport. Published noise abatement procedures are enforceable by
Transport Canada and violators can be subject to fines. In the redesign of
routes, NAV CANADA respects all noise abatement procedures in place at an
How is noise regulated?
noise is regulated in two principal ways in Canada:
Noise operating restrictions or noise
abatement procedures at airports.
Airport authorities determine what noise
abatement procedures should be used at a specific airport in order to mitigate
the impact of aircraft operations on neighbouring communities. Abatement
procedures are approved by Transport Canada and are official when they are
published in the Canada Air Pilot. Once published they are enforceable and
violators can be subject to enforcement actions, including fines.
Noise at the source (i.e. the aircraft).
Canada is a member state of the
International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), and adopts aircraft noise and
emission certification standards prescribed by ICAO. These standards require
noise measurements to be taken at the time of aircraft certification. Depending
on the measurement results, the aircraft is categorized as either Chapter 2, 3,
or 4 (Chapter 2 being the noisiest and Chapter 4 being the quietest).
Regulations under the Canadian Aeronautics Act require that jet aircraft over
34,000 kg must meet at least Chapter 3 certification standards. Transport Canada
may grant exemptions to this, such as for aircraft flying in the north.
What are the responsibilities of the
various organizations with respect to airspace changes and aircraft noise?
NAV CANADA is the country’s air navigation
services provider and plays a key role in designing and publishing the network
of air routes that aircraft use to get to their destination and the approach
and departure procedures at airports. NAV CANADA endeavours to balance the
safety and efficiency needs of its customers with community concerns in the
design of new routes. NAV CANADA is a signatory to the Industry’s Airspace
Change Communication and Consultation Protocol. In this instance, NAV CANADA is
the proponent of airspace change.
Airport Authorities are responsible for
establishing noise abatement procedures. Noise abatement procedures can govern
things such as runway selection and routings within 10 NM of the airport.
Additionally, most airports have noise management committees and noise offices
that receive and respond to noise complaints from area residents. Airport
authorities are also responsible for responding to and tracking of complaints
by residents for aircraft operations to their airport.
Transport Canada approves new noise
abatement procedures and establishes regulations over such things as aircraft
source emissions (engine noise).
Airlines and other aircraft operators
Airlines and other aircraft operators are
responsible for conducting their operations in accordance with Transport Canada
regulations and airport noise abatement procedures.
How is noise considered when planning
designing flight paths, NAV CANADA endeavours to balance safety and efficiency
requirements with potential impacts on the community. Options that reduce
overflight of residential areas or that allow for quieter aircraft operations while
meeting strict Transport Canada-approved design standards are important
considerations. NAV CANADA also seeks input from airports, some of which have
noise management committees, and applies its Airspace
Change Communication and Consultation Protocol to ensure that
appropriate community input is sought in the proposal stage. As part of the
consultation, the Company uses industry standard noise modeling to fully
understand the noise impacts of a proposed change.
How can I make comments on the upcoming
the feedback tool here. The comment period is open until June 30, 2016.
Can these airspace changes be
implemented as a trial first?
an aircraft can fly any of the new routes, approach procedures must be
published in the Canada Air Pilot, as well as coded and stored in aircraft
computers. It is impossible to make changes on a trial basis. However, the
change is subject to a 180-day review.
What influences which runway is in use
at an airport at any given time?
safety reasons, the choice of runway used by an arriving aircraft is determined
by the direction and speed of the wind.
addition, airport noise abatement procedures may limit which runways are in use
at certain times or for certain types of operations.
Does NAV CANADA decide which and how many
aircraft land at an airport?
CANADA’s mission is to provide for the safe and efficient flow of aircraft
operating in Canadian airspace. NAV CANADA does not decide how many or which
aircraft fly in and out of an airport. At some airports, Airport Authorities
are responsible for the distribution of available slots.