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Monday, 22 September 2014
Page: 9887

Airport Noise

Dear Dr Jensen

Thank you for your letter dated 26 May 2014, reference 842/1309, regarding a petition submitted to the Standing Committee on Petitions concerning impacts of aircraft noise on the residents of East Melbourne.

East Melbourne is located close to the CBD of Melbourne and the number, frequency and diversity of aircraft result in additional noise as opposed to outlying suburbs.

Airspace above East Melbourne has an upper limit of 1,500 feet, i.e. traffic is unable to operate at a higher level without specific approval of the Essendon Control Tower. This is to avoid conflict with overflying traffic.

Aircraft and Helicopters (Aircraft) that operate over this area are reporting on peak time vehicle traffic, and tourism operations. Tourism operations in the area have grown significantly with Melbourne becoming a popular destination for tourists with regular flights operating over the CBD and surrounds. Currently traffic enters and exits the area via the Melbourne Cricket Ground after transiting along the Yarra River.

Air Ambulance Helicopters are also transiting the area to nearby hospitals e.g. the Royal Children's Hospital, the Royal Melbourne Hospital and the Alfred Hospital.

Many of the aircraft that operate over East Melbourne start and/or end their flights at Moorabbin Airport or Essendon Airport. Both of these airports have Fly Neighbourly Agreements in place, which are voluntary agreements between the airport and operators designed to minimise the noise impact of operations.

East Melbourne lies on a direct line between each airport. The Government remains committed to minimising the noise impacts on residents in close proximity to flight paths wherever we can.

Airservices Australia and the Aircraft Noise Ombudsman (ANO) have met and discussed this matter with residents of East Melbourne and the office of Mr Adam Bandt MP, the Member for Melbourne.

The issue continues to be constantly monitored to ensure all aircraft are operating in a legal and safe manner.

I trust this information will be of assistance to the Committee.

from the Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development, Mr Truss