Airservices is Australia's air navigation service provider - we provide air traffic control, aviation rescue and fire fighting and air navigation services.

Monitoring aircraft noise

Airservices Noise and Flight Path Monitoring System (NFPMS) collects noise and flight path data at Brisbane, Cairns, Canberra, Gold Coast, Sydney, Melbourne, Essendon, Adelaide and Perth airports. This system operates 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week, collecting data from every aircraft operating to and from the airport. NFPMS uses monitors located within local communities and is the world’s largest, most geographically-spread system of its type.

Noise monitoring is not undertaken to determine compliance with aircraft noise regulations—there are no regulations which specify a maximum, allowed level of aircraft noise. Rather it is undertaken to:

  • determine the contribution aircraft noise makes to the overall noise to which a community is exposed
  • provide information to the community
  • help local authorities make informed land use planning decisions (monitoring data can assist in decision making, however it cannot overturn a decision)
  • inform estimates of impact to changes in air traffic control procedures—including changes to reduce aircraft noise impacts
  • validate noise modelling
  • inform the determination of aviation policy by government
  • assist the government in implementing legislation, such as curfew acts and regulations.

Airservices also produces quarterly reports that include monitoring information from the NFPMS.

Airservices regularly reviews the noise monitoring networks and locations around major airports to ensure they meet current needs. Most private residences are unsuitable as locations for noise monitoring as there are a number of requirements that must be met to install a monitoring unit.