Aircraft Noise

As aviation demand has changed, Essendon Fields Airport has continued to evolve, playing a crucial role for our state.

The airport played a central role in the economic and social development of Melbourne during the 20th century, as the aviation gateway between our city and the rest of the world.

Today Essendon Fields Airport still plays a critical role as homebase for many of Victoria’s Emergency Air Services, alongside general aviation activity and corporate jet operations, maintenance and repair.

Airport safety is our number one priority, and we work collectively with governments, industry bodies, airline carriers and aircraft operators to minimise the impact of our operations on the local community.

In January 2010, Essendon Airport PTY LTD (EAPL) established a Community Aviation Consultation Group (CACG). The CACG replaced the Essendon Airport Noise Management Working Group.

  • The CACG is the primary community consultation forum for noise issues. Attendees at the CACG meetings include:
  • The member of Federal Parliament for the seat of Wills (contact Peter Khalil MP)
  • The member of State Parliament for the seat of Essendon (click here to contact Danny Pearson MP)
  • A local Ward Councillor for Moonee Valley City Council (click here to contact Cr Narelle Sharpe)
  • A community representative nominated by the Federal Member for Wills (click here to contact Mr Frank Manti or call 0428 653 620)
  • A community representative nominated by the Federal Member for Maribyrnong (Mr Kevin Walsh can be contacted c/o Essendon Airport Pty Ltd, Level 2, 7 English Street, Essendon Fields 3041)
  • Two senior representatives from EAPL.
  • Representatives of Airservices Australia (AA) and the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development (DIRD) are invited guests at each meeting. The Aircraft Noise Ombudsman has also attended meetings of the CACG.

Initiatives undertaken by EAPL in conjunction with the CACG include:

  • Implementation of the first Fly Neighbourly Agreement (FNA) in Australia;
  • Local fly neighbourly procedures to encourage helicopter operations at the northern end of runway 17/35 to use the green belt area;
  • An EAPL staff member spending the night at the home of a local resident to gain a better appreciation of the noise issues that were impacting this particular resident;
  • Arrangements were made for a resident to meet EAPL’s CEO and Chief Pilot of a local airfreight company to discuss their concerns and gain a better understanding of this particular business;
  • A new engine test site which uses the existing formation of the adjacent freeway overpass to absorb noise was trialled and is now a confirmed location for engine test runs.
  • Publication of a Community Information Booklet


Minutes of meetings will be made available on the Essendon Fields Airport website after approval by the Community Aviation Consultation Group.

2014, 26KB
2015, 2MB
2016, 8MB
2017, 808KB
2018, 2MB
2019, 5MB
2020, 5.98MB
210618 Community Aviation Consultation Group Minutes 18 June 2021

All aircraft noise complaints in the first instance should be lodged with Airservices Australia. To lodge a complaint or make an enquiry about aircraft operations, you can use the following options:

  • Online Enquiry – Go to WebTrak to see the flight path details of the aircraft of concern
  • Online Complaint – Click here
  • Complaint – 1800 802 584 (free call)

If you are not satisfied with the service received, you can lodge your complaint with the Aircraft Noise Ombudsman online: or write to:

Aircraft Noise Ombudsman
GPO Box 1985
Canberra, ACT 2601

The Airports (Environmental Protection) Regulations 1997 do not apply to noise generated by aircraft in flight, when landing, taking off or taxiing at the airport. However, noise emissions emitted from ground-based activities are subject to the Regulations.

Ground based noise sources include engine maintenance tests and pre-flight system checks of aircraft, maintenance activities, vehicle traffic and construction activities.

Engine maintenance tests are restricted at Essendon Fields Airport to the following hours:

7.00 am – 6.00 pm, Monday to Friday
10.00 am – 6.00 pm, Saturday and Sunday

Most complaints about aircraft ground based noise are about pre-flight system checks (run-ups) which are a mandatory safety requirement prior to flight for non-jet engine aircraft types. Few run-ups exceed five minutes in duration, but run-ups do occur when the ambient background noise is at lower levels.

In response to noise complaints, generally regarding engine maintenance, Essendon Fields Airport amended its Aircraft Engine Maintenance Ground Running procedure in 2012. The revised procedure incorporates a new site for the mobile testing vehicle, which is closer to noise barriers and further away from residential areas surrounding the airport.

2039 Australian Noise Exposure Forecast (2039 ANEF)

The ANEF is a forecast of aircraft noise exposure levels around aerodromes over a 12-month period. The ANEF is to be read in conjunction with the Australian Standard AS2021-2015 which classifies building types as Acceptable, Conditionally Acceptable or Unacceptable dependent on the ANEF zone of the site.

The contours on the ANEF chart are a forecast of the noise exposure over a 12-month period divided by 365 to show an average annual day.

The Essendon Fields Airport 2039 ANEF was endorsed by Airservices Australia on 22 March 2019. The 2039 ANEF can be viewed/downloaded at the link below.


Community Information Booklet

On recommendation from the CACG, a Community Information Booklet has been published. If you would like a copy of the booklet, please contact us on (03) 9948 9400. Alternatively, a copy of the booklet can be viewed by clicking on the following link:


Aircraft noise will always arise as part of an airport’s operation, and while modern aircraft are becoming quieter, considerable ongoing attention is required to manage the noise associated with an airport.

While aircraft flight paths and responses to noise created by aviation movements are primarily the responsibility of Airservices Australia, EAPL takes a proactive approach to noise impacts on the community. Currently, 24 operators have signed the Fly Neighbourly Agreement as of September 2017.

Initiatives undertaken by EAPL in conjunction with the Community Aviation Consultation Group (CACG) include the implementation of the first Fly Neighbourly Agreement in Australia. The following Essendon Fields Airport tenants have signed up to the Fly Neighbourly Agreement:

  • AeroRescue Pty Ltd
  • Agusta Westland
  • Alliance Airlines Pty Ltd
  • Amber Aviation
  • Coulson Helicopters
  • Crabtree Aviation Services
  • Erickson Air Crane
  • Execujet Australia Pty Ltd
  • Executive Airlines Pty Ltd
  • General Aviation Maintenance (GAM)
  • Jenny Gust (Pilot)
  • JetCity Engineering
  • Melbourne Helicopters Pty Ltd
  • Par-Avion
  • Pearson Aviation Pty Ltd
  • Royal Flying Doctor Service
  • SGE International Pty Ltd
  • Sharp Airlines
  • Shortstop Jet Charter Pty Ltd
  • Link Airways