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Roles and Responsibilities

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Managing aircraft noise exposure on a community is a collective effort of several parties. The following is a high-level summary of roles and responsibilities of these key parties. 

Airport operators

The airport is the appropriate first place to contact about aircraft noise as many airports in Canada have been assigned the responsibility of noise management. Several airports have a noise management program to process complaints. 

Below is a list of relevant airport noise information pages, many of which include links to resources and forms to submit noise concerns. When expressing specific concerns about aircraft noise with your local airport authority, provide as much information as possible – including date, time, location and a detailed description of the event.

International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)Open a new window is an agency of the United Nations and was created to promote the safe and standardized development of international civil aviation. ICAO sets standards and regulations necessary for aviation safety, security, efficiency and regularity, air navigation, and environmental protection (including noise and emissions).

ICAO endorses the concept of a balanced approach to aircraft noise managementOpen a new window. This approach aims to identify and implement the most cost-effective means to address noise problems at an airport, including noise reduction at source; land-use planning and management; and, noise abatement operational procedures and operating restrictions. 

Transport Canada

Transport CanadaOpen a new window is the regulator of aviation in Canada. Its role is to develop transportation policies and legislation that provide for a high level of safety and security and support a successful, stable aviation sector in Canada.

The responsibilities of Transport Canada with regards to noise include reviewing, approving, and publishing new proposed noise control measures at airports, as well as ensuring compliance with published noise abatement procedures and investigating suspected violations.

If you believe a pilot is not abiding by the Canadian Aviation Regulations, you may wish to notify Transport Canada's Civil Aviation Communications CentreOpen a new window.


NAV CANADA is a private, not-for-profit corporation that operates Canada’s air traffic control and civil air navigation system under the auspices of the Civil Air Navigation Services Commercialization Act.

The Company is responsible for the safe coordination and the efficient movement of aircraft and is also responsible for planning and managing airspace, including flight paths and airways used by airlines.

For questions related to air traffic management, please contact service at service@navcanada.caOpen a new window

Airlines and other aircraft operators

Airlines and other aircraft operators are responsible for conducting their operations in accordance with Transport Canada regulations and published noise abatement procedures. Airline and air operator subject matter experts also are actively involved in working groups and teams that support improvements to aviation safety and efficiency through responsible development of performance-based navigation and airspace design.

Municipalities and other levels of government

Local governments in most Canadian provinces and territories, are responsible for land use planning and development. Such planning authorities may use noise exposure forecasts (NEF), produced by airport authorities using Transport Canada software and metrics, to determine areas where residential development may not be suitable.

While, in most cases, ultimate decision-making approval for land use rests with such authorities, some provinces have created provincial guidelines that place additional restrictions on development around airports, such as Alberta’s Airport Vicinity Protection Areas.