Airport Vicinity Protection Areas
In the 1970s, the Government of Alberta created Airport Vicinity Protection Areas (AVPA) to provide guidance to municipalities and regulators for the review of land use applications for compatibility, as well as noise guidelines for airports and adjacent lands.
In 1996, as the federal government was recommending further restrictions to development around airports, the Government of Alberta rescinded all AVPAs with the exception of the ones for Edmonton and Calgary. The new enforceable regulations for development around the two major airports became part of the Planning Act and subsequently the Municipal Government Act.
Amendments to the AVPA regulations in 1996, following a review, changed the shape and zone of impact of the NEF contours on development in Leduc. In addition to changes in the contours, there was also a change to the list of permitted uses.
One of the other significant changes was the introduction of a limit on the number of house units in downtown Leduc. This limit restricts the City’s opportunities for densification and increased use development in the core.
A 2003 report for Alberta Municipal Affairs about the existing AVPA regulation highlighted the impacts of the changes between the 1981 and 1996 AVPA. The report indicated that the revised restrictions in 1996 increased the number of areas impacted in the City of Leduc by 10. The City of Edmonton and Leduc County, in comparison, saw a decrease in the number of areas impacted.
The AVPA utilizes the noise forecasts produced by the Federal Government. The noise exposure forecast (NEF) noise contours are categorized into 4 major categories based on the expected response to the intensity of the projected noise. The categories are as follows:
- Over 40 NEF (most intense noise impact)
- 35-40 NEF
- 30-35 NEF
- 30 NEF (least intense noise impact)
The AVPA provides a list of permitted, restricted and conditional permitted land uses in each of these noise contours, as well, as sets out additional requirements for building requirements. New residential development is not permitted in noise contours greater than the 30 NEF (Alberta Regulation 55/2006 Edmonton International Airport Vicinity Protection Area Regulation).
It is estimated that:
- 79% of the City of Leduc is covered by the AVPA regulation
- 69% of the City of Leduc is impacted by the 25 NEF+ noise contours
- 44% of the City of Leduc is impacted by the 30 NEF + noise contours
- Of the urbanized area within the 30 NEF+ contour area within the AVPA, the City of Leduc contains 82% of the area, compared to 0% for Edmonton, 18% for Leduc County and 0% for Parkland County