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Airport noise report released

By sepi - 14 August 2009 25

Air Services Australia has released their quarterly report into air traffic in Canberra.

Of interest this month is the new noise monitor in Hackett.

As part of their campaign to run freight planes every 2 minutes overnight in Canberra the airport has consistently stated in the media and in official submissions that no residents in Canberra will get aircraft noise of over 65decibells (p80, 2009 preliminary Draft Master Plan).

However the ASA report shows the new Hackett noise monitor has recorded aircraft noise of 70DB as a daily event in Hackett. Measurement technicalities have seen the airport explain 70% of these away as community noise. EVen that complicated equation still leaves a 70DB noise occurring every second day in Hackett, under current flight conditions.

Given that 45DB is the noise level accepted as waking people up at night, regular 70DB noise levels do not bode well for regular overnight flights.

And for those who feel that they are well away from the flightpath, the diagram of flight directions on page 20 of the report is of interest. As the airport gets busier, the flightpath expands to fit in more planes, and to cover more of Canberra.

So the issue of noise and nightflights is relevant to many of us. The ACT government is strangely silent on the issue of overnight flight noise.

Federal Minister Anthony Albanese is to approve or reject the airport’s masterplan on August 28. This plan details their future ambitions to run freight planes over Canberra at night, to relieve Sydney of aircraft noise. Given that Minister Albanese’s seat of Marrickville is subject to a lot of aircraft noise, he may welcome the chance to send some of it our way.

The Air Services report clearly makes a lie of the airport’s claim that no residents will hear planes of over 65DB. But it remains to be seen whether any of the politicians care about our sleep – either locally or Federally.

Further info is at:


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25 Responses to
Airport noise report released
sepi 5:49 pm 15 Aug 09

From my reading of the report it seems that the 70DB noise readings relate to a circular area of 4.5 km, with it’s centre at the edge of Hackett (p11). But I admit to finding the report confusing.

The argument that ‘the airport was there first’ is not true for all of noise affected Canberra – and in any case is no reason not to have a night curfew. They have curfews in other cities built up near airports.

caf 5:31 pm 15 Aug 09

Addison: All of NSW? No, just those residents of Jerrabomberra with an overdeveloped entitlement complex.

sepi 5:01 pm 15 Aug 09

90Db is pretty loud – I would wake up. Music is capped at 45DB after 11pm in urban areas, to allow people to sleep.

Also 90DB at 1m away from a noisy car is a lot less inside your house.

That is the problem with aircraft noise – unlike noisy motorbikes and lawnmowers etc, instead of disturbing a few houses, loud flights disturb several suburbs all at once.

And this isn’t just about Tralee – the airport is keen to run freight night flights regardless of whether Tralee goes ahead.

Now is the time to introduce a curfew, before they have built up business in night flights.

harvyk1 4:56 pm 15 Aug 09

Every 2 minutes, whilst it wouldn’t quite put us into the top 30 list of worlds busiest airports it’s push us right up there, and almost certainly the busiest in Australia. – I somewhat doubt that will happen.

What we will more than likely see is more larger freighter aircraft (eg A330’s, A340’s, B777, B747) etc which we don’t currently see here. Admittedly each type is larger than the B767 (the largest scheduled aircraft which fly’s to CBR), and they are not quite things. However it once again draws back to the point that in almost all cases, the airport was there first, and airports have never been known for being quite neighbours

Mr Waffle 3:44 pm 15 Aug 09

Given that 45DB is the noise level accepted as waking people up at night, regular 70DB noise levels do not bode well for regular overnight flights.

Where is that 70dB recorded from? IIRC, the legal limit for cars is 90dB @ 1 metre, and I certainly don’t wake up when a (road legal) car drives past at night…

Addison 2:43 pm 15 Aug 09

don’t like the idea of tralee? thank your government for pissing off NSW by building a prison right on their doorstep.

sleep tight!

caf 1:31 pm 15 Aug 09

It doesn’t take much thought to realise that 140 planes landing every night is completely outside the bounds of credibility.

In any case – the main issue is the need for a curfew preventing any flights between 11pm and 6am – such as the residents of Sydney have to protect their sleep. Surely we deserve the same protection.

…which is a perfectly fine argument on its own, which is why it’s a pity that you felt the need to bolster it with scared-up figures.

sepi 1:11 pm 15 Aug 09


Caf – they plan to completely rebuild their terminals to make room for more planes.

Stephen Byron: “So you will see a huge aviation activity at Canberra Airport. We certainly hope that within the next five years that we’ll be moving ahead with the development of a whole new terminal and everything you see in the terminal precinct will be rebuilt.”

sepi 12:43 pm 15 Aug 09

pps – all I can find right now is a reference to 15 flights between 11pm and 6am. The flights every 3 minutes must be increased daytime flights.

In any case – the main issue is the need for a curfew preventing any flights between 11pm and 6am – such as the residents of Sydney have to protect their sleep. Surely we deserve the same protection.

sepi 12:35 pm 15 Aug 09

ps The plan for freight planes every 3 minutes overnight has been widely reported over a long period. Unfortunately the CT now won’t let me search beyond the last few days, so I can’t link to an online source.

sepi 12:33 pm 15 Aug 09

Sorry – that is an error. The airport aims for planes every 3 minutes overnight, not every 2 minutes. Not that I imagine I will get a lot of extra sleep with those 3 minute breaks between flights, as opposed to 2 minutes.

Ivan76 11:13 am 15 Aug 09

It’s Airservices Australia not Air services.

housebound 8:42 pm 14 Aug 09

Gotta love that map on page 20 – it makes Belconnen and Tuggeranong look relatively peaceful. It also looks like someone set fire to the airport. Poetic licence?

caf 7:01 pm 14 Aug 09

…run freight planes every 2 minutes overnight in Canberra…

Suuuure… and where will they be parking these 30 aircraft per hour while they unload/load them? It’d get jolly crowded real fast on that little piece of tarmac!

Why must people ruin perfectly good arguments by severely overegging them?

Digga 6:23 pm 14 Aug 09

Wonderful. As predicted, all along and even before Tralee gets developed causing even more diversion of flight paths.

How nice, to share some of the aircraft load with Canberra “to relieve Sydney of aircraft noise.” I hope my friends near the airport in Sydney are glad we’ll be doing our bit to help alleviate them. I moved from East Ryde to Canberra because I’d had enough of not being able to chat outside our home in the evenings due to the low-flying approaches to Sydney airport.

Guess I’ll move again. Aircraft noise, gas-fired power stations. What next to come our way in Southern Canberra?

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