The term ‘flight path’ is used to refer to the corridor where the aircraft fly most of the time. Flight paths can be a number of kilometres wide, rather than the straight lines sometimes shown on maps.

Airservices determines flight paths for both take off and landing. Each runway has a number of flight paths, depending on the type of aircraft, volume of traffic at the airport and weather conditions. Changes to these flight paths are made for a variety of reasons, including safety and the environment. However, changes are not easy to make as they have to take into account the impact on the entire terminal airspace. Airservices aims to minimise the noise impacts of changes whilst ensuring the safety of operations at an airport. Airservices has produced a factsheet to explain why aircraft fly where they do.

Details of flight paths at major Australian airports are available on the ‘managing noise at airports’ section of this website.