Vancouver becomes first Canadian airport to offer the public real-time and historical flight and noise data
Screen shot of WebTrak for YVR
Wed 27 May 2009 – Vancouver International Airport now offers an online tool that allows neighbouring residents the opportunity to check real-time flight and noise data, as well as historical data within the previous 30 days, collected by the airport authority’s aircraft noise monitoring and tracking system. WebTrak for YVR records flight activity using radar data received from NAV CANADA, Canada’s air navigation service provider, and noise data collected at 20 noise monitoring terminals stationed throughout Metro Vancouver.
WebTrak, supplied by airport environmental monitoring company Lochard, displays a map of the region and current flight and noise activity, although there is a 10-minute delay for security reasons. A simple visual key identifies aircraft type, elevation and noise level, and whether the aircraft is arriving or departing. With easy-to-use features and menu options, online users can replay historical flight activity, locate their residence on the map to determine the distance from aircraft in flight and, if they wish, register a comment or concern about a particular flight.
Developed in collaboration with NAV CANADA, WebTrak for YVR is the latest component of the airport authority’s current Airport Noise and Operations Monitoring System, which has been in operation for more than 10 years.
The authority says its Noise Management Program “aims to balance the community’s desire for safe, convenient, 24-hour air travel with enjoyable urban living for YVR’s neighbours.” In addition to WebTrak and the noise monitoring system, the programme includes regular consultations with the YVR Aeronautical Noise Management Committee; a five-year noise management plan; and published noise abatement procedures.
“We recognize that noise associated with air travel can affect surrounding neighbourhoods,” commented Anne Murray, Vice President, Community and Environmental Affairs, Vancouver Airport Authority. “By putting flight and noise information at the public’s fingertips through WebTrak, we hope to promote greater understanding of aircraft operations at YVR and the complex airspace in which we operate.”
Local MP Russ Hiebert said: “I am pleased this website is up and running. Residents asked for it so I lobbied NAV Canada to amend its legal agreement with the Vancouver Airport Authority so that flight and noise data could be viewed by the public. Now residents can know exactly what is flying in their area. Residents asked for more accountability from NAV Canada and I believe this website is an important step forward.”
According to The Vancouver Sun, the website is also the result of lobbying by SCAAN (Surrey Citizens Against Aircraft Noise) and the Surrey Airspace Taskforce after residents complained of aircraft noise pollution as a result of new flight paths being used by aircraft entering Metro Vancouver airspace.