Town of Canmore

Heliport Lease Renewal

Next Steps 

Sept. 7, 2021 - Report with a project description and budget to work with Alpine Helicopters to review possible locations in or near the municipality to locate a staging helipad for operating sightseeing flights or relocate the heliport.

Other Information

On July 6, 2021 Council approved a 10-year lease (effective Dec. 1, 2021) with Alpine Helicopters with a further reduction of the maximum number of sightseeing flights from 60/day in the current lease to 35/day (42% reduction). The minimum sightseeing flight duration was increased to 25 minutes, and a reduced rent was negotiated to reflect the increased restrictions applied to the heliport operations.

A recording of the May 4, 2021, Public Town Hall to hear public feedback on the recommended terms of renewal for the revised Schedule C (formerly known as Schedule D) is available to watch here.

If you have questions or need more information, you can learn more on the Heliport Lease Renewal page on  or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Approved Lease Operating Details

Draft Schedule "C" (Formerly Schedule “D” in 2011-2021 Lease) Conduct of a Helicopter Business

This Schedule defines the heliport business operations conducted by the Tenant (the “Heliport”) at the Canmore Municipal Heliport. Business operations shall be monitored and reviewed annually by the Canmore Heliport Monitoring Committee.

1.       Regulations

The Heliport shall be operated in accordance with the following regulations:

a)       Regulations

                                                                    i.            Town of Canmore Land Use Bylaw

                                                                  ii.            The Canadian Aviation Regulation (CARS) as administered by Transport Canada

                                                                                                  i.      Visual Flight Rules (VFR) utilizing Civil Aviation Airport Certificate 5151-545 as issued by the Minister of Transport. VFR means that aircraft can depart at the beginning of civil twilight or land at the end of civil twilight.

                                                                                                ii.      Approved Operations Manual filed with Transport Canada

b)      Any additional laws, regulations, or rules that may be passed now or in the future, by any governmental authority and/or the Landlord, and are applicable to the Heliport and the Tenant’s operations on the Leased Premises.

2.       Itinerant Helicopter Operations

The Tenant shall permit private helicopters to land at the heliport on a "Prior Permission Required" (PPR) basis. This requirement will be published in the Canadian Flight Supplement which must be carried in all aircraft when they are flying.

3.       Alpine Helicopter Operations

The primary helicopter activities to be conducted at the Heliport include sightseeing, commercial operations and emergency services. Details of each business area and operating parameters are provided below.

a)       Sightseeing Operations

For sightseeing flights, the Tenant shall:

                                                                    i.            Operate such flights between the hours of 8:30 am and 5:00 pm seven days a week;

                                                                  ii.            Provide flights that are twenty-five (25) minutes or longer;

                                                                iii.            Utilize six (6) passenger helicopters when at all possible and no more than four (4) helicopters will be used for sightseeing flights per day;

                                                                 iv.            Monitor and report passenger point of origin data along with any other metrics that quantify the local economic benefits of sightseeing flights;

                                                                   v.            Research and implement programs and services that benefit the local economy; and

                                                                 vi.            Not exceed a maximum of thirty-five (35) flights per day.


b)      Commercial Operations

For commercial flights, the Tenant shall:

                                                                    i.            Include but are not limited to international, domestic, Federal operations, and Provincial operations; back country lodge transfers; heli-hiking; accredited professional photography and filming; wildlife survey and support; recreational trail construction and maintenance; and power line inspection and construction; and

                                                                  ii.            Operate between the hours of 8:00 am and 5:00 pm seven days a week whenever possible.


c)       Emergency Services

                                                                    i.            Include but not limited to emergencies related to rescues, medical transportation, avalanche control, fire protection, and law enforcement;

                                                                  ii.            Operate during any daylight hours and are not pre-scheduled like sightseeing operations or commercial operations as set out above; and

                                                                iii.            Follow the most direct route as safely as possible to the scene of an accident for rescue and medical flights.


d)      Helicopter Maintenance

For helicopter maintenance, the Tenant shall:

                                                                    i.            Conduct on ground maintenance runs and test flights between the hours of 8:00 am and 5:00 pm seven days a week, whenever possible.

4.       Flight Departure/Approach Paths

a)       Normal departure and arrival paths for the heliport for all sightseeing and most commercial operations will follow the flight patterns shown on the attached drawing below. Deviations from these paths shall be permitted for emergency services, conflicting aircraft in the area, or weather-related issues.

b)      Flight paths will be monitored regularly and revised as development in Canmore progresses to ensure that helicopters avoid flying over built up areas; and to minimize disturbance while flying over designated wildlife corridors and habitat.

c)       Additional flight paths that are not set out in the diagram attached to this Schedule “C”, or do not fall within the aforementioned deviations in the case of emergency services, conflicting aircraft in the area, or weather-related issues, shall be first proposed to the Landlord and the Tenant shall provide to the Landlord all information reasonably requested in relation to the new proposed flight path(s). The additional flight path(s) shall be subject to the Landlord’s written consent, acting reasonably.

d) The Tenant is to provide flight data upon request of the Landlord.