Aircraft Noise Exposure in Calgary

If you’ve lived in a certain community or city for a period of time, you might take for granted what newcomers to the area would not necessarily know- and one of those things are flight paths.

The Calgary International Airport (YYC) reached new heights in 2008, with passenger volume at 12.5 million passengers and 125,000 tonnes of air freight, making YYC the third busiest airport in Canada, after Toronto and Vancouver. With a fourth runway scheduled to begin construction in 2011 and complete in 2014, it’s important to know the paths those planes will take if you’re planning on renting or buying in the area.

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Airport Noise Exposure

The contours that encircle the map (see above) are determined using the Noise Exposure Forecast (NEF) system approved by Transport Canada. This tool scientifically predicts annoyance and noise from aircraft. The contours range in value from relatively low noise (NEF 25) to relatively high noise (NEF 40).

One way to find out if a property is within a contour is to look it up at the City of Calgary website, under “My Property” (Update: Link no longer active)

Two examples of properties within the contour are below:

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However, I find it best just to speak with neighbours in the area directly. They’re living there and would know best what, if any disturbances there are with aircraft.

Buying or selling real estate?  Contact Mike Fotiou, First Place Realty at 403-554-2284 or
You can also visit my main website at for more information.

13 responses to “Aircraft Noise Exposure in Calgary

  1. So !!! Neighbors in the area were plains up and
    down completly BLOCKHEADS. They became
    deaf!!!! They never tell your truth. You realize
    how you can live in Airdrie, Sharp Hill , Contry hills, Kincora and that kind “estate”???? For
    example Cooper Crossing Estate in Airdrie!! I never see more joke in my life: major airplane
    traffic,300f to rail track,2000f to hwy #2.Enjoyable isn’t it?

  2. So if I don’t have a NEF value on the city website does that mean I’m outside a noise contour? Either that or a lot of Panorama falls outside of a contour. Is there any ways to get a city map with the contours overlayed?

    Mike Fotiou says: Sorry, I don’t have a city map with the contours overlayed. Personally, I think these maps are just a guideline to go by. I would spend time in the area and speak with the residents to find out if and how much aircraft noise there is.

  3. Mark,
    That map is showing only appro. Zone NW, North,NE, City of Airdrie, Chestemere it’s a very noisy area. Panoramma , Kincora,Citadel,
    Sage hill, Sherwood, Coventry hills is REAL inside noise zone even it’s not in a map. If you can accept that noise 1.30 a.m. and 5.30 a.m. this fine if not think twice….

  4. Thank you for posting that link – great detailed info & updated.

  5. Hello everyone,

    With the new runway that has opened, the info in the original post is no longer up-to-date. Many people have been complaining about the excess noise.

    Residents in communities surrounding the Calgary airport say they weren’t adequately warned about the noise and frequency of aircraft coming from the newly opened runway. (click to read entire article)

  6. The noise is very excessive but the more important thing is all the tons of emissions these jets are producing and dumping all over residential areas.What kind of air are your kids breathing in? with increase air traffic there is going to be a lot of sick people in those residential areas. These are of no concern of City of Calgary because if it was that extension project would never have happened . Noise and Emission pollution from big jets is a poor trade off for a city that was once one of the better places to live.

  7. Further to the Update: To all those communities mentioned above, ie Panorama, Coventry, Harvest Hills, Sandstone, Kincora and others – do you feel that your quality of life has improved now that we are not dealing with excessive jet engine noise? That has certainly been the case in Beddington Heights, where I live. I do empathize with those who are now subject to that same noise and pollution – there are no easy solutions.

  8. I’m surprised after living in one inner city community for the past 14 years the recent significant increase in airplane traffic over my current home in NW Calgary. It seems that the north / south corridor passes right over my home with planes going either due north or south. One recent weekend morning I counted a plane every 3-4 minutes making their descent into the airport. This is a myth that only the new areas are affected. The impact is far greater, given that the north/ south runways mirror the north/south layout of the city.

  9. The airport departures and arrival noise has increased in the entire north column of Airport runways.

    Everyone who lives in the airport runway designated areas are suffering!

    I live in Harvest Hills. The noise is worse in the later evenings. If we do not like it, Move.

    I have air conditioning and my windows are closed. I must have very angry neighbours of I am complaining.

    Thanks for listening

  10. We live in Signal Hiil. Since late July we have been inundated with planes going directly over our home. Can’t get any answers from YYC. They say contact NAV, NAV says contact YYC. Their hotline is a joke. As with many others we were blindsided by this. This was to be our retirement home. But the peace of retirement has been shattered by the noise. Interesting this flight path started weeks after new runway opened and after MP Shorry met with YYC
    Interesting comments about the emissions. I suffer from migraines and the last few weeks they have been brutal.
    The worst offenders are the planes coming in from the north west powering down to turn east then turn north to land. They are so low and loud

  11. I have lived in Doverglen for 30 years and last summer we stayed in our house with the windows closed because of the loud low flying planes , this summer we had a lunch out side and lasted an hour , the planes were every 3 to 5 min and you can’t even hear the person beside you talk , we are being held prisoner in our own home by yyc , just think , you can get a ticket for no muffler on your car , and yyc is is holding Calgary hostage , AWH!

  12. This document may be of interest to you.

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