Aeronautical Noise Management Program

Aeronautical Noise Management Program

Aircraft Noise

If you are wondering about a sudden change in aircraft volume or frequency of aircraft traffic in your neighbourhood, these tips may be for you. Aircraft noise affects people in different ways. Many people who live under flight paths get used to the aircraft noise. Some aviation enthusiasts even like being up close to the runway. But for others, even the sound of a plane flying overhead at high altitude is an annoyance.


  • While Winnipeg Richardson International Airport isn’t responsible for setting the flight paths that planes fly (that is NavCanada) or flying the planes (that is the airlines), we are responsible for communicating with the public about aircraft noise from planes which take off and land at our airport.
  • Construction activities may influence the frequency of aircraft on runways or adjacent to runways. Similar to city streets, the airport has a preventative maintenance program to monitor and improve our facilities. These activities are temporary in nature, and could require one runway to be utilized more frequently or differently than normal.
  • The degree to which people experience aircraft noise on the ground has a lot to do with atmospheric conditions. Temperature, wind speed, humidity, rain and cloud-cover all have a part to play in the way we hear aircraft noise. The reverberation of sound waves caused by the weather can make noises seem louder. Sometimes aircraft flying at altitudes that would not normally produce noise may be heard in certain atmospheric conditions. Check out this video.
  • Planes need to land and take off into the wind. If there is a light breeze, they can also take off and land in the same direction as the wind, but with reduced payload. However, unless air traffic is very light, aircraft must land and depart in the same direction for safety reasons. That means an ‘into-the-wind’ runway direction is almost always adopted for landings and take offs. Check out this video.

The Aeronautical Noise Management Program at Winnipeg Richardson International Airport was developed in conjunction with its partners in the aviation sector and various levels of government. The primary intent of the program is to minimize noise impacts on surrounding residential areas, while protecting the economic benefits which a 24-hour airport provides.

If you have questions or concerns that haven’t been addressed on this page, you can submit a request to our 24-hour Noise Line 204-987-9798 or use the Contact Us form.

The Noise Management Program consists of three major components: Abatement, Mitigation, and Monitoring.

Noise Abatement

The Noise Abatement Program is designed to control and reduce aircraft noise though the modification of standard aircraft operations or procedures. Working in tandem with this Program are Transport Canada regulations governing aircraft noise levels.

Noise Mitigation

Mitigation involves methods of reducing or minimizing noise disturbances through management efforts such as land use planning, Municipal bylaws and other cooperative efforts with local Municipalities.


Monitoring is intended to track trends and changes in reported disturbances in order to assess the effectiveness of the Noise Management Program.

Noise Management Measures: A History

The airport, under the name of Stevenson Airfield, has been operational since 1928, later renamed the Winnipeg Richardson International Airport. By 1938, the airport was functioning in a manner similar to its operation today: servicing passenger, cargo, military and private aircraft 24 hours a day.

Changes in the layout of the airfield and the operation of the airport have been made over time. The runways were realigned in 1948 to their current layout, and the first jet aircraft arrived in 1955. In the 1960s, the passenger terminal was constructed, and the runways were expanded north and northwest to their current length. The airport remains a 24-hour facility reflecting its central location in the national airports system.

Airport planning in the 1970’s and early 1980’s took into consideration the impact of aircraft noise disturbance on Winnipeg residents. From 1989 onward, the airport has actively sought to manage aircraft noise by exploring the feasibility of alternative aircraft operating procedures in conjunction with the airlines, NAV CANADA and Transport Canada. The airport has also worked with the City of Winnipeg and RM of Rosser to incorporate appropriate land use planning in the vicinity of the airport and along the flight paths.

Measuring the Success of Winnipeg Richardson International Airport’s Noise Management Program

The percentage of noise reports to aircraft movements since 1994 has been small, trending below 0.25% for the last 20 years.

Aircraft Movement Reports

Year Total Noise Reports Total Aircraft Movements Reports per 1,000 Movements
1994  330  154,868  2.10
1995  340  156,002  2.20
1996  223  155,065  1.40
1997  206  155,193  1.30
1998  193  150,085  1.30
1999  176  156,527  1.10
2000  204  156,029  1.30
2001  195  152,950  1.27
2002  258  155,912  1.60
2003  354  152,086  2.30
2004  193  140,403  1.40
2005  240  137,787  1.74
2006  362  144,641  2.50
2007  158  151,793  1.00
2008  171  138,911  1.20
2009  102  128,594  0.79
2010  101  117,435  0.86
2011  149  119,452  1.25
2012  95  115,730  0.82
2013  96  112,003  0.86
2014  324  111,340  2.91

Note: WAA closed Runway 18/36 from April 28th 2014 to July 31st 2014 for rehabilitation. All air traffic was routed to Runway 13/31 during the project period, which resulted in increased exposure to aircraft noise in the affected neighbourhoods.