Noise Management

Program Vision

The vision of the Noise Management Program at the John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport (the “Airport” or “Hamilton International”) is to create an operating environment which, wherever possible, minimizes the level of noise disturbances experienced by members of the community, ensures that noise levels are kept at the lowest practical level, while balancing and recognizing the importance of the Airport’s 24/7 operations both economically in the community and in the National Trade Corridor.

The vision is achieved through:

  • Reviewing, recommending, and adopting noise abatement procedures governing take-offs and landings, use of runways, hours of operation, and aircraft type
  • Implementing deliverable items outlined in the Noise Management Plan which was developed in consultation with the Hamilton International Airport Noise Management Advisory Committee (NMAC) and Airport stakeholders
  • Responding to public concerns and questions, ensuring procedures are followed while educating the public on operating requirements and noise improvements made to date
  • Analyzing data that allows Management to review noise inquiries made by date, location and type to determine if any trends exist that require further action, providing additional information to stakeholders and the community

Noise Management Advisory Committee

NMAC was formed to address concerns with regards to noise management at the Airport. The Committee provides a forum for the discussion and consideration of noise management issues to reduce the impact of aviation noise on the community. The committee is comprised of representatives from local community and government, airline and aircraft operators, air navigation services, the aviation industry and the Airport.  The scope of the Committee is to discuss, analyze and provide advice on and/or make recommendations about noise management to the Airport Executives.

Flight Path Considerations

Hamilton International does not control flight paths to and from the Airport, yet we work closely with NAV CANADA and airlines to understand how to best minimize the noise impact without compromising the safety of air traffic.  Flight paths for approach and take-off on Hamilton’s main Runway (12-30) are designed to avoid major communities. Hamilton International is unable to change these flight paths.

How Weather Effects Noise

Atmospheric conditions can interact with aircraft noise to impact local communities differently depending on the conditions. Even though an aircraft generates the same amount of noise everyday, it may sound louder because of the weather. Factors responsible for above average amplification of aircraft noise in the community include:

  • Temperature inversions;
  • Temperature contrast of the inversions (higher in the spring and fall);
  • Wind speed and direction;
  • Ambient air temperature;
  • Humidity;
  • Barometric pressure;
  • Cloud cover;
  • Height of cloud cover; and
  • Precipitation

Current Noise Abatement Procedures


Pursuant to Canadian Aviation Regulations 602.105, the following restrictions are in effect:

  1. Training flights require prior permission from Airport Management between the hours of 2300 – 0700
  2. Departures on Runway 06 require prior permission from Airport Management between the hours of 2300 – 0700
  3. Arrival & approach for Runway 24 requires prior permission from Airport Management between the hours of 2300 – 0700

Aircraft Noise Exposure Forecast (NEF) Contours

Assessments for noise exposure are performed in accordance with Transport Canada’s standard for “Land Use in the Vicinity of Airports” (TP-1247E).  The Urban Hamilton Official Plan also identifies the development types that are acceptable based on Aircraft Noise Exposure Forecast (NEF) contours around the Hamilton International Airport and a City of Hamilton By-Law No. 05-196 exists to minimize future conflicts between the operation of the Airport and surrounding land uses.

The NEF contours ensure sensitive land uses are not permitted to be developed within areas exposed to noise disturbance levels greater than the 28 NEF.  Any sensitive land uses permitted to be developed between 25 and 28 NEF contours will be required to implement noise mitigative measures in accordance with Municipal, Provincial and Federal guidelines/standards (Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change and Transport Canada). As the Airport continues to accommodate several aircraft types while sustainably growing its core 24/7 cargo operation, it maintains its position in adhering to these current measures.

Noise Inquiry / Complaint Process

Hamilton International historically receives a minor amount of noise inquires/complaints each year due given enacted Noise Abatement procedures and current flight path considerations.  Hamilton International is committed to answering the questions of community members and providing information or statistics as required.  Any member of the community can contact the Airport with a noise inquiry or complaint.  Once an inquiry/complaint is received, an Airport staff member will review the information, contact the individual if requested, and complete an investigation if required.  Following a consultative process the stakeholders, operating procedures may be reviewed along with other factors, such as environmental conditions or unique aircraft operating that could have impacted operations.

When submitting a noise inquiry/complaint, key information is required to properly complete an investigation, which includes:

  • Date and time of incident
  • Description of the incident (type of aircraft, colour, etc.)
  • Contact information (name, phone number or email and full address including postal code)

All information above is required to ensure a proper investigation and to officially register the complaint.

Should a formal response be required, the Airport’s goal is to respond to your request within seven (7) business days, unless circumstances outside of the Airport’s control impact the process and result in delays.

Respectful Communication Hamilton International encourages discussions of the Airport’s operations with all community members regarding questions related to aircraft noise. We will always do so in a thoughtful and respectful manner.  Similarly, we expect the same from the individuals requesting information from the Airport and will not respond to any complaints that are of an abusive or threatening nature. If we conclude that we have previously provided a resident with all reasonable information available to us or find that the same questions are being asked repeatedly.  If this occurs, we will continue to register the resident’s additional complaints, but will not provide further explanation.

Transport Canada publishes the names of all commercial operators that have violated the Aeronautics Act and the Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs), including Noise Operating Restrictions and Noise Abatement procedures. A summary of their offences and the resulting sanctions can be found on the Transport Canada website (  If the Airport determines that there was a potential deviation from prescribed procedures, information would be forwarded to Transport Canada for further investigation.

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Why are aircraft flying over my house?

If you live within the Hamilton area (including Mount Hope, Ancaster, Dundas, Binbrook), you may be notice air traffic which could generate noise. Your experience may depend on weather conditions, runways used, aircraft being used, but most importantly relative distance from the Airport. Flight paths are determined by NAV CANADA and aircraft are routed around largely populated areas.  However, it is important to note that if you are hearing aircraft noise, it may not be from aircraft operating from Hamilton International.

Does the Airport close at night?

Hamilton International is open 24/7, 365 days a year. There are restrictions during night operations between the hours of 2300 – 0700 which try to alleviate noise effects on the community.

Does the Airport action every noise report?

Hamilton International takes all noise reports very seriously and conducts in-depth investigations to attempt to find the root cause of the issue. From there we will communicate findings to the reporter and speak with partners to collaborate on mitigations to lesson the effect we have on surrounding communities.  Note that some investigations take longer than others, and we will do our best to communicate with you as soon as possible.

What types of aircraft operate out of the Airport?

Hamilton International has a multitude of different partners operating small single prop planes all the way up to multi engine jets and helicopters. Unique to Hamilton, the Canadian Heritage Warplane Museum operates many older aircraft such as the Avro Lancaster, Douglas C-47 Dakota and Consolidated Canso. Aircraft that are observed in the vicinity of the airport are not necessarily operating from Hamilton as there are many smaller airports operating in the area as well, i.e., Burlington Airpark, Brantford Airport, York Airport, etc.

Additional Resources