Victoria Harbour Seaplane Noise Study

Seaplane Terminal1

For many decades commercial seaplane service from Victoria Harbour has provided the fastest way for government workers, business people and tourists to get from BC’s capital to downtown Vancouver and other lower mainland locations.  However, during the late 1980’s and 1990’s, former industrial and marine use lands surrounding the harbor were redeveloped for multi-family residential use and the impact of aircraft noise on these new residents soon became a major issue.  Wakefield Acoustics Ltd. was selected by Transport Canada to conduct extensive seaplane and helicopter noise monitoring around the harbor during the three summers.  Detailed analysis of seaplane noise event data permitted the calculation of cumulative aircraft noise exposures at various residential locations under different take-off and taxiing protocols.  Based largely upon the outcomes of these noise studies, as well as concurrent air quality studies, Transport Canada decided to relocate the preferred (fair weather) take-off zone from the middle harbour to the outer harbour, thereby substantially reducing the exposures of harbour side residents to the most intense seaplane noise events.