Managing Aircraft Noise
Managing aircraft noise and it's possible impacts isn't the concern of any one organisation or department and is collectively managed by Governments, aircraft manufacturers, airline carriers and airport operators.
Undertaken in a balanced and proactive manner, how aircraft noise is managed can be classified into four main areas:
- Reduction of noise at the source through aircraft technology improvements.
- Compatible land-use planning: This involves directing incompatible land uses (such as homes, schools etc.) away from the airport environs/ flight paths and to encourage compatible land uses (such as industrial, commercial uses, etc.) in these areas. While not the only compatibility issue, aircraft noise has been the main issue of airport land-use compatibility conflicts. Land use controls for the area around Melbourne Airport were implemented by the State Government in 1992. The purpose of these controls is to ensure the efficient operation of Melbourne Airport, both now and in the future, is adversely affected by inappropriate developments (such as houses, schools, hospitals). Details of land use planning controls can we found at Land.vic.gov.au
- Noise abatement procedures: The size and shape of noise contours around an airport are influenced by both inflight and ground-based operational procedures. The airport works together with Airservices and airlines to implement a range of procedures to minimising the number of people affected by aircraft noise.
An example includes directing aircrafts to utilise flight paths that pass over semi-rural areas during the evening, or spreading the use of all available flight paths to lessen the intensity of aircraft noise.
- Aircraft operating restrictions: This is the limiting or reducing an aircraft's access to the airport, such as prohibiting or imposing other restrictions around noisy aircraft.
Organisations working in noise mangement
Airservices is a government-owned corporation providing safe, efficient and environmentally responsible services to the aviation industry. Airservices plays an important role in managing noise. It’s role involves:
Ensuring that flight departures and arrivals are designed to minimise noise impacts on communities around airports
Providing information about aircraft noise
Monitoring aircraft noise around major airports
Providing a national Noise Complaints and Information Service
Aircraft Noise Ombudsman
The Aircraft Noise Ombudsman oversees the handling of aircraft noise enquiries and complaints, conducts independent reviews of noise complaints handling and makes recommendations for improvements when necessary.
Noise Abatement Committee
This committee is chaired by Melbourne Airport and consist of representatives from Airservices, the major airlines, State EPA, Australian Government Planning, Transport and Local Infrastructure and local councils. The Committee’s role is to review the impact of aircraft noise exposure on the surrounding community and, in a consultative manner, makes recommendations to minimise the effect of aircraft noise. For more information visit Noise Abatement Committee.
Community Aviation Consultation Group
This group provides the opportunity for community members, Government and industry to raise issues and express opinions regarding Melbourne Airport, particularly with regard to planning, development and operations. For more information visit CACG.
Melbourne Airport Noise Resources
Melbourne Airport has designed an interactive tool to help people assess the forecast impact of aircraft noise where they live both now and in the future.
Melbourne Airport Noise Tool
Fact sheet - Melbourne Airport and Aircraft Noise
Fact sheet - Growing With Melbourne: Third Runway