Canberra Airport continues to work with Airservices to put in place extensive noise respite measures including establishing Noise Abatement Areas and changes to operations. Aircraft flying within the Noise Abatement Areas are not permitted to fly below 5,000ft above ground level.
Historical changes to operations at Canberra Airport to reduce the impact of aircraft noise on surrounding communities are recorded in the fact sheet attached.
Since 2001/02 the rural property known as Tralee on the ACT and NSW Government border adjoining the ACT industrial suburb of Hume has been proposed by developers, the Village Building Company, for rezoning as residential development. Over a decade later, despite a continuous push from both the Village Building Company and the Queanbeyan City Council, rezoning of this land has not occurred. But this push continues with the developer incorrectly stating that the land is not under a flight path.
Village Building’s executive general manager for land development, Ken Ineson, said it was “completely false” to argue the development jeopardised the airport’s expansion plans. He said Tralee was not under “a designated flight path” and the proposed suburb would have fewer over flights than most of Sydney………..Sydney Morning Herald, 7 July 2012.
Unlike other major airports in Australia, flight paths for Canberra Airport do not track over residential areas but residential development at Tralee would change this. Residential development proposed at Tralee would be within the High Noise Corridor, directly under a Standard Instrument Departure flight path.
If people were to live at Tralee under this departure flight path they would:
- experience significant aircraft noise;
- insist aircraft fly over the homes of others; and
- call for operational constraints to be placed on the Airport.
Canberra Airport, airlines, and the ACT and Australian Governments are opposed to residential development under flight paths at Tralee because we know from years of experience that aircraft flying over homes presents a poor outcome for residents and they will complain and lobby for noise sharing.
The NSW Government is also aware of the impact aircraft noise has on those living near an airport. Speaking about aviation in Sydney, the Hon Barry O’Farrell MP, Premier of NSW, has expressed his commitment to protecting residential areas from significant aircraft noise.
“No other part of Sydney’s going to be contaminated by the sort of noise that is connected with an airport. Let’s accept that fact, and start to invest in linking the Canberra Airport and this city.” Premier O’Farrell, ABC 666 Radio Interview, 15 February 2012.
“My point though Ross is, Badgerys Creek was identified twenty, twenty five years ago. It may well have been an option once, but if you’ve been out there and you’ve seen the residential development that’s grown close to it, put an airport there today and you’re simply going to contaminate them with the noise that comes from a major airport.” Premier O’Farrell, 2GB Radio Interview, 15 February 2012.
The Hon Brad Hazzard MP, Minister for Planning, is currently forming his decision about the rezoning of Tralee for residential development.
Information about Canberra Airport’s ongoing commitment to the protection of communities from aircraft noise, and opposition to residential development at Tralee, is presented in the Timeline below.
Timeline of Proposed Residential Development at Tralee
Decision pending by the Hon Brad Hazzard MP, Minister for Planning, on the rezoning of Tralee.
Guideline A of the National Airport Safeguarding Advisory Framework finalised. Greenfield developments like Tralee should be avoided because it is inside the N60, N65, and N70 corridors. “For planning purposes, a zone of influence should be taken into account…within 15 kms of” Canberra Airport. (para 31, p. 5)
Recommendation 10 of the Joint Study on Aviation Capacity in the Sydney Region recommends “Canberra Airport is protected from encroaching noise-sensitive urban development”. Study also states “Canberra Airport is the only curfew-free airport within reach of Sydney and provides the potential for night-time services which cannot be accommodated in Sydney… It is important that Canberra’s 24 hour unrestricted curfew-free status be protected.” (p. 23)
NSW Planning Assessment Commission report advises against rezoning Tralee for residential development. “The Commission reiterates earlier advice that a more appropriate planning outcome would be to locate new residential development in areas less affected by aircraft noise that do not require noise protection.” (p.3, supp.)
Queanbeyan City Council supports Tralee South rezoning for housing and sends to NSW Planning for approval.Apology provided by Bob Winnel, Managing Director, Village Building Company for statements that Airport position is “untrue” and “false scaremongering”.
Draft Local Environment Plan prepared for residential development at Tralee
Sydney Daily Telegraph 27 February 2008 – Article on Labor Party donations by property developers.Federal Court rejects Village Building Company appeal of 2007 decision.Australian Government opposes noise sensitive development under flight paths
Canberra Spatial Plan incorporates High Noise CorridorFebruary – Court dismisses claim by Village Building Company against Canberra Airport under the Trade Practices Act 1974. August – Federal Court rejects appeal by Village Building Company of February decision
National Capital Authority supports High Noise CorridorDraft Local Environmental Study for Tralee preparedMediation between Airport and Village Building Company fails
Village Building Company purchases Tralee and raises residential development intention with CouncilTralee is under a jet flight path. Apology and retraction issued by Mayor Pangello, Queanbeyan City Council.
Airport describes aircraft noise impact with High Noise Corridor proposal.90 day public consultation. MBA and HIA in support.Queanbeyan City Council resolves to undertake planning study of Tralee as employment land (i.e. industrial not residential)
N60 N65 N70 contours for Canberra Airport have been prepared in response to Guideline A of the National Airports Safeguarding Framework, Measures for Managing Impacts of Aircraft Noise. These contours graphically represent aircraft movement frequency combined with level of noise.
The Canberra Airport Australian Noise Exposure Forecast illustrates noise levels based on noise insulation standards outlined in AS2021 and as such can be useful in insulating existing buildings around Canberra Airport. Experience has shown it should not be relied upon to guide new development because numerous noise complaints are lodged by those living within the ‘acceptable’ 20 ANEF contour.
Airservices Australia commenced operation of a Noise and Flight Path Monitoring System at Canberra Airport in June 2002. The pattern of aircraft flight tracks described by this System is published quarterly on the Airservices website.
In early 2006 Qantas introduced flight paths into Canberra Airport utilising new technology known as Required Navigation Performance (RNP) procedures also referred to as “Smart Tracking”
The Qantas RNP approach from the south to Runway 35 curves around houses at Jerrabomberra providing a constant descent approach (CDA) which is substantially quieter and expends significantly less fuel than straight-in approaches. This trial has delivered reduced noise in Jerrabomberra by up to 10dBA for an average B737 arrival, with additional noise benefit achieved through the use of CDAs. View Smart Tracking for B737-800 Qantas operations in October 2006.
Airservices is currently working to further implement Smart Tracking at Canberra Airport. Further information about Smart Tracking can be found on the Airservices website.
Please note, all Smart Tracking for Canberra Airport will be within the High Noise Corridor, including over Environa and Tralee.
Airservices Australia has released an online system called WebTrak where anyone can access information about where and how aircraft fly within 55km of Canberra Airport. WebTrak provides users with information about arriving and departing aircraft, from three months earlier up to just 40 minutes ago. After selecting an aircraft, users are able to make a complaint about that flight directly to Airservices.
If additional homes are built under Canberra Airport flight paths aircraft noise could be shared across large parts of Canberra and Queanbeyan and jeopardise Noise Abatement Areas.
It is likely residents living within any newly developed residential area within the High Noise Corridor will press for noise respite and lobby for aircraft noise to be shared across the community. This means those in the community who do not currently experience aircraft noise due to the Noise Abatement Areas could be exposed to aircraft noise in the future.
“Airservices Australia has ample experience from dealing with communities around airports Australia-wide to know that aircraft noise is very likely to become a major issue for potential future residents of “Tralee” should the proposal go ahead. If this occurs there would then be pressure for relief measures, such as placing restrictions on the operations of the Airport and for the “sharing” of noise by spreading the tracks over areas currently protected by the Noise Abatement procedures. The latter option would be particularly unfair to the current residents of those areas who may have purchased their properties in the expectation that they would not be subjected to unacceptable aircraft noise.” …..Airservices Australia, 8 October 2002.
So Noise Abatement Areas can continue to protect the community from aircraft noise the best outcome is for no further residential development to occur in the High Noise Corridor.
The Aircraft Noise Ombudsman conducts independent administrative reviews of Airservices’ management of aircraft noise related activities including:
- the handling of complaints or enquiries made to Airservices about aircraft noise;
- community consultation processes related to aircraft noise; and
- the presentation and distribution of aircraft noise related information.