Hon. Lionel Chevrier (Minister of Transport) moved
that the house go into committee to consider the following resolution:
That it is expedient to introduce a measure to amend the Aeronautics Act to provide that the governor in council may make regulations for the zoning of airports and also to provide for the payment of compensation in respect of any property injuriously affected by the application of the said regulations.
He said: There are two parts to this resolution, Mr. Speaker, which is concerned with a measure to amend the Aeronautics Act. The first part relates to the making of regulations to provide for the zoning of airports. The second part deals with the payment of compensation in respect of any property injuriously affected by the application of the proposed regulations.
Dealing with the first part of the resolution, it must be apparent to all that airport approaches should be protected. At the present time there are no regulations restricting the use of lands in the vicinity of airports or limiting the height of buildings or other structures which are hazards to the landing or taking off of aircraft. During the last war the airport zoning regulations, 1939, were made under the War Measures Act. These regulations applied to military airports and definitely restricted the height of structures and use of land adjacent to these airports. These wartime regulations afforded necessary protection to aircraft using the airports but are no longer in force. The only means of zoning airports at the present time is given by the Expropriation Act which authorizes the taking of land or any interest therein for public purposes. This method is not considered adequate to meet present-day requirements of airports.
By airport zoning is meant the division of certain land adjacent to or surrounding an airport into definite areas in which the height of buildings or other structures, and objects of natural growth, is limited and the use of the land is restricted according to definite plans so that the airport approaches are protected from dangerous obstructions. The need for protection of both the aircraft and the
public from dangerous obstructions in the vicinity of airports is obvious. The building of houses and other structures on locations from which later on they may have to be removed should be discouraged.
In most instances, airports have been located in sparsely settled surroundings, but the growing importance of air travel and the expansion of cities have caused a movement to locate various buildings adjacent to airports in recent years. If the height of these new structures is reasonably regulated so as to prevent them from interfering with the use of the approaches to the airport, the public interest in the airport will be protected, and the owners of property adjacent to the airport can make the best use of their land by adapting it to purposes which conform to this public interest. The recent casualties in populated areas where aircraft have landed out of control causing loss of life and extensive damage indicate that great care should be taken not only in the location of suitable airport sites but also in regulating the erection of buildings in the vicinity of an airport.
Turning now to the second part of the resolution which is complementary to the first, it is intended to make provision for the payment of compensation to persons whose property is injuriously affected by the application of the zoning restrictions. The introduction of airport zoning will permit the orderly development of land in the vicinity of an airport without danger to air navigation. Generally, this will be beneficial to property owners in the area but it is recognized that in some cases hardships may occur to property owners who have acquired land or have planned developments on property immediately adjacent to airports for purposes which no longer would be feasible under the restrictions imposed by zoning regulations. It is intended to take care of these cases by providing for compensation. This will apply
in regard to future structures which are dangerous to aircraft. The removal of obstructions now on the land will be dealt with under the normal procedures of expropriation for which compensation is provided under the Expropriation Act. It is not
the intention of the measure which I propose to introduce to have a retroactive application but to prevent the creation of future hazards. The zoning regulations, therefore, would be merely preventive as regards future action.
Subtopic: AMENDMENT TO PROVIDE FOR ZONING OF AIRPORTS