Noise Exposure Forecast and Related Programs

Transport Canada helps aviation planners and those responsible for development of lands adjacent to airports to implement smart zoning practices and properly manage land-use in the vicinity of airports.

Transport Canada uses a Noise Exposure Forecast (NEF) system to provide a measurement of the actual and forecasted aircraft noise in the vicinity of airports. This system factors in the subjective reactions of the human ear to specific aircraft noise stimulus: loudness, frequency, duration, time of occurrence, tone, etc.

This metric allows us to predict a community’s response to aircraft noise. If the NEF level is greater than 35, complaints are likely to be high. Anything above 25 is likely to produce some level of annoyance. Land planners can use this system to ensure that land use in the vicinity of an airport is compatible with that airport.

Through the system, municipalities and local governments receive a basis for zoning and residents receive details of what may be expected in certain areas. The system prevents future complications.

Transport Canada recommends that where the NEF exceeds 30, new residential development should not proceed. If it does, regardless of this caution, a detailed noise analysis should be conducted and noise reduction practices should be implemented. In this scenario, it is the developer’s duty to inform all prospective residents of possible irritants.

Request a copy of the software

The NEF is not intended for use by the general public.

To obtain a copy of the software packages, please make the request at: Civil Aviation Communications Centre.

NEF program
The NEF program calculates forecast noise exposure levels in units of NEF in the vicinity of airports.

AIRDIST program
The AIRDIST program calculates the great circle distance and the stage length of a flight between an originating airport and a few thousand airports in Canada, the United States and around the world.