EF highlights Safety & Sustainability as key priorities

Each year Essendon Fields adds its voice to support the Australian Airport Association’s [AAA] Airport Safety Week campaign, a campaign aimed to enhance and add to the safety conversation by encouraging staff and contractors working on an aerodrome to consider their obligations to provide a safe environment for all airport users.

As a mixed-use precinct incorporating an operating airport, community and retail facilities, and over 300 businesses across a range of sectors, creating a safe working environment is paramount. Essendon Fields remains proud of a longstanding aviation safety history, and is mindful of the steps to take to ensure a sustainable tomorrow.

Essendon Fields’ Planning Manager Brad Evans notes that the theme of ‘Safety and Sustainability’ of this year’s Airport Safety Week particularly resonates.

“For many years, an Airport Environmental Strategy has been in place at Essendon Airport in accordance with our statutory requirement from the Commonwealth Airports Act 1996. These strategies are designed to manage our 305 hectare site whilst minimising the Airport’s impact on the surrounding environment,” said Mr Evans.

“We recognise the importance of maintaining and enhancing the environment for the benefit of all Australians, present and future. One of our proudest achievements has certainly been our Urban Forest project, which will play a critical role in maintaining the health and durability of Essendon Fields as we face significant population growth, as well as help to reduce the heat island effect at our airport” he said.

In 2021 Essendon Fields planted its 10,000th new tree on site, hitting an ambitious target in record time. With that goal achieved, an increase has now been confirmed, with a short-term target of 11,000 to be reached by the end of FY24 and another 4,000 on top of that to be planted as soon as practically achievable.

Mr Evans highlights Essendon Fields strong commitment to being a leader when it comes to sustainability in the aviation industry.

“We know it’s important because our precinct will continue to grow. Today we have approximately 6,000 jobs at Essendon Fields and expect that number to grow to 20,000 in the next 20 years,’’ he said.

Essendon Fields General Manager Aviation Matt Marais highlights some of the aviation safety considerations that require focus when developing a flourishing landscaped environment for the community in close proximity to an airport.

“The varieties of trees grown are selected to support safe aviation operations. Ornamental fruits are generally preferred over other native varieties, so as not to grow too high or to attract flocks of birds that may present a hazard to operating aircraft,” said Mr Marais.

“It’s not only the height of the initial planting, but the expected mature height of trees that must be considered when selecting different varieties. Obstacles, which include trees, buildings, cranes and plumes, must not impact on the protected airspace that safeguards aircraft operating into and out of Essendon Fields Airport. Our Obstacle Limitation Surface, or OLS, must be protected for aircraft operating under Visual Flight Rules where aircraft maintain clearance from obstacles and terrain by maintaining visual reference to the ground”.

Earlier in the year Essendon Fields proudly reported it had completed a major upgrade of the lighting to LED within the DFO Essendon car park and subsequently to the remainder of the precinct in September, and in 2022 offset 100 per cent of the carbon emissions from the lighting on its airport runways, taxiways and aprons.

Essendon Fields Airport is required to submit an Annual Environment Report to the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts. This report details the environmental issues on the airport and reports on the progress against the Airport Environmental Strategy.

“For our environmental performance over the last 12 months, we secured positive recognition from government at the end of June 2023.  It serves as encouragement to continue to improve our environmental performance in all aspects of our operations,” finished Mr Evans.


Essendon Fields Health and Safety Month | October 2023

We’re promoting all things health, safety, and wellness this October at Essendon Fields. From personal wellbeing, to safety at work and across our airport operations, we welcome our community to learn, engage and get involved. Visit more via www.ef.com.au/healthandsafety.

Airport Safety Week | 16 – 20 October 2023

Join us on Instagram or Facebook as we explore this year’ theme of Sustainability and Safety, with new topics each day and an introduction to some of the safety practices of Essendon Fields Airport.