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Melbourne Airport sets up noise monitors for third runway plans

written by Jake Nelson | August 18, 2023

Melbourne Airport plans to open a new north-south runway in 2027. (Image: Melbourne Airport)

Melbourne Airport has installed three portable noise monitors to collect data on aircraft noise as it plans for its third runway.

The sensors, positioned in Keilor, Sunshine and Bulla, complement six existing noise monitors operated by Airservices Australia, and have been set up in response to community feedback during last year’s public exhibition of the new north-south runway project slated to open in 2027.

Data from the monitors can be viewed online in almost real time through Airservices’ Webtrak system. According to Melbourne Airport chief executive officer Lorie Argus, their positioning is flexible, allowing them to be relocated as needed.

“These monitors will provide local residents and businesses with more information to enable them to get an accurate idea of what noise events look like in their neighbourhood. The initial locations have been chosen based on community feedback and extensive testing to ensure there is minimal contamination from other noise sources such as major roads and wildlife,” she said.

“Melbourne Airport is Victoria’s largest employment hub outside of the CBD and plays a vital role connecting the state’s people and produce to the rest of the world. We know that noise generated by airport operations is a source of concern for some local residents, and we hope these monitors will instil faith that we are working with them.


“We listened to the feedback during community consultation for our third runway plan which highlighted the desire for more data, and through collaboration with Airservices Australia we are now able to provide that.”

Aircraft noise is a common point of contention between the aviation sector and residents near airports. Melbourne residents near the airport last year called for an independent review of the third runway, citing noise concerns.

Noise has been a flashpoint at Brisbane Airport since the completion of its new parallel runway in July 2020, which allowed more flight paths to open up, but affected nearby communities in the process.

Meanwhile, preliminary flight paths for Western Sydney Airport were released in June, allowing locals to see the impact of noise on their locations. The federal government has launched an interactive overflight noise tool that will allow residents to search by address or location, giving information such as daily aircraft numbers, expected altitude, and predicted noise levels.

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