Responsibility for management of noise
Responsibility for aircraft noise management is shared between airlines and aircraft operators, air navigation service providers, airports, federal government agencies and state and local governments.
Airservices Australia provides air traffic control, aviation rescue and fire fighting as well as other related services to the aviation industry. This includes maintaining technology used by the industry for navigation and surveillance and aircraft noise monitoring.
Airservices has a major role in managing aircraft noise and distributing information about aircraft noise management. Airservices maintains a focus on safety and work closely with airports and airlines to ensure, wherever possible, that flight departures and arrivals avoid residential areas and that noise-abatement principles are implemented.
Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA)
CASA is an independent statutory authority with responsibility for the regulation of civil aviation operations in Australia and the operation of Australian aircraft overseas. CASA gives overriding consideration to air safety, consideration of the environmental effects of the activities it regulates are secondary to its safety-related obligations. Through the Office of Airspace Regulation, CASA also has responsibility for airspace regulation.
Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development
The Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development advises the government on the policy and regulatory framework for Australian airports and the aviation industry. The Department also provides policy advice to the Minister on the efficient management of aircraft noise, including regulatory oversight of:
- curfews which apply to night time aircraft operations at Sydney, Adelaide, Gold Coast and Essendon airports
- the Air Navigation (Aircraft Noise) Regulations 1984 as they apply to aircraft which do not meet Australian aircraft noise standards.
Aircraft Noise Ombudsman
The aviation industry works closely with the independent office of the Aircraft Noise Ombudsman (ANO) to improve the way in which it can respond to community concern about the impact of aviation on communities.
Airports ensure that noise-generating activities, such as ground running and helicopter take-offs, take place as far away as possible from residential areas. This helps minimise the noise impact on local communities.
Some airports have also worked with aircraft operators and local councils to develop ‘Fly Neighbourly Agreements’, which are voluntary codes that include measures to reduce the noise impact of aircraft operations on residential areas near airports.
State/territory governments and local councils
State governments determine planning frameworks for areas around airports to ensure that inappropriate developments are avoided where aircraft noise is (or could be in the future) particularly high. Local councils are responsible for implementing these frameworks.