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Minimising aircraft noise

Canberra Airport works with Airservices Australia to put in place extensive noise respite measures to minimise the impact on the community. The most significant and effective measure is the long established noise abatement areas.

Jet aircraft flying within the noise abatement areas are not permitted to fly below 5,000ft above ground level, and other aircraft are not permitted to fly below 3,000ft. This protects 99.5 per cent of the houses in the Canberra and Queanbeyan community from direct over flight (other than for emergencies or thunderstorms). As a result, aircraft flight paths into and out of Canberra Airport are concentrated into the corridor between the Canberra noise abatement area and the Queanbeyan noise abatement area.

People who buy houses outside these noise abatement areas must inform themselves of the likely increased noise exposure and the future increase in flights.

Historical changes to operations at Canberra Airport to reduce the impact of aircraft noise on surrounding communities can be found in our Fact sheet.

Describing aircraft noise

Canberra Airport is a non-curfew airport. This means it is in operation 24 hours a day, with operations increase significantly over time. Not only will the number of planes per hour increase but they will be bigger aircraft and they will operate more at night as international and freight operations grow.

There are several measures to describe aircraft noise including information about flight paths and single event noise contours.

737-800 noise footprint

787-800 noise footprint

N 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. N contours are a representation of aircraft frequency (how often) and noise level.

These contours compare 2012 contours with airport capacity contours. They are therefore a good representation of how noise will change over time as the airport becomes busier and aircraft frequencies increase.

N60 contour

N65 contour

N70 contour

The Canberra Airport Australian Noise Exposure Forecast (ANEF) illustrates noise levels based on noise insulation standards outlined in AS2021. Unlike N contours the ANEF contours are not a reflection of noise experience, but rather are a set of contours based on an average of aircraft noise when the airport is at capacity.


In late 2012 the NSW Government approved in part the rezoning of land at Tralee for residential development. The decision was made that residential development will not be permitted at Tralee within the ANEF 20 contour, while development outside the ANEF 20 contour will require aircraft noise attenuation.
All sales contracts for houses at Tralee will include the following legal clause:

This land is subjected to aircraft noise at any time by the 24 hour a day, 7 day a week passenger, freight and defence aircraft flight operations arriving and departing Canberra Airport.

The frequency of aircraft movements and the size of aircraft are forecast to increase indefinitely into the future.

It is the responsibility of landowners to noise attenuate their property to ensure their amenity as Canberra Airport will remain curfew free.

This information has been shared with:

Airservices Australia Australian Airports Association Federal Minister for Transport

NSW Minister for Planning ACT Chief Minister Queanbeyan City Council

Noise and Flight Path Monitoring System

Airservices commenced operation of a Noise and Flight Path Monitoring System at Jerrabomberra in 2002. The pattern of aircraft flight tracks described by this system is published quarterly on the Airservices website.

Noise and Flight Path Monitoring System

Smart Tracking

In early 2006 Qantas introduced trial 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) that is substantially quieter and expends significantly less fuel than straight-in approaches. In 2007 Airservices produced a report showing reduced aircraft noise of 9-10 dB(A) at the Jerrabomberra Noise Monitoring Terminal during a single 737-800 RNP arrival event.

In 2013 Smart Tracking was implemented at Canberra Airport and is in use by aircraft fitted with the necessary navigation equipment.

Further information about Smart Tracking can be found on the Airservices website.


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 information about arriving and departing aircraft, from as long as three months ago to just 40 minutes ago. After selecting an aircraft, users are able to make a complaint about that flight directly to Airservices.

Aircraft Noise Ombudsman

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.

The 2013 article The Truth About Aircraft Noise is informative.

For more information visit www.ano.gov.au

Aircraft Noise Industry Portal

In 2013 members of the aviation and airport industry joined together to release a new aircraft noise information portal for the Australian community.

The Portal provides information about particular aircraft, airports and noise policies, however, its intent is mainly to act as a hub where members of the community can find out more about the many facets of aircraft noise.

As a partner, Canberra Airport welcomes feedback about the Portal. Just email info@canberraairport.com.au

To access the Aircraft Noise Industry Portal visit www.aircraftnoise.com.au

Step 01Enter an address

Step 02Select Volume Level

Click on a contour for more explanation on the number of events

Step 03Email yourself a summary

For more information on Canberra Airport’s activity in minimising the impact of aircraft noise on the community, please click here. For more detailed information on our future plans, please see our Master Plan [Noise Chapter].

You can also email yourself a copy of these links and a summary on how your address Fyshwick ACT 2609 Australiais affected by aircraft noise