5. Transport Canada / NAV Canada Consultation

A proponent is responsible to ensure that the location of their facilities do not interfere with the operation of aircraft in the surrounding airspace. This includes both approaches to aerodromes as well as ensuring that towers do not interfere with the navigational aids used by aircraft during flight. To this end a proponent submits two applications – one to NAV Canada and one to Transport Canada.

NAV Canada determines if the proposed tower or site poses any risk to navigational aids or aerodromes, and if not, the particulars of the tower location and elevation are inserted into the relevant aeronautical charts and publications. NAV Canada issues a letter to the proponent indicating whether the site poses a risk, or whether there are any objections to the site being built. This letter is available to Innovation, Science, and Economic Development Canada (ISEDC) as part of a proponent’s regulatory undertakings.

Transport Canada also reviews the proposed site and determines what lighting or paint markings are required on the tower to ensure the towers are visible to aircraft under differing conditions. These marking and painting requirements are outlined in Transport Canada’s Canadian Aviation Regulations (CAR) Part 6 Standard 621 (Revision 06/01/2012). A letter is provided to the proponent that outlines the lighting and painting requirements for a particular radiocommunications site.

It should be noted that proponent’s do not have the option to refuse to light or paint a structure when instructed by the federal Minister of Transport to do so. As a result, LUA or public concerns regarding the use of lights or flashing beacons are not within the control of the proponent as it is dictated under the federal mandate of the Aeronautics Act (1985).

Moreover, it is a common misconception that the Transport Canada and NAV Canada applications apply only to tower structures - this is not the case:

All radiocommunications facilities which are built either as a tower, or as an appendage to an existing structure or building (i.e. high-rise apartment, water tower, etc.) must make applications to both Transport Canada and NAV Canada and have their sites reviewed.

While the building of radiocommunications sites on buildings is usually below the minimum operating altitudes of aircraft, the approaches to aerodromes, heliports, as well as the operation of navigational aids may be affected by these sites.

It is important that all proponents respect the need to obtain approval from both Transport Canada and NAV Canada prior to construction.